PayPal, the digital payments company, has offered to buy about $ 45 billion worth of Pinterest, the digital pin board company, according to people familiar with the discussions.

PayPal offered Pinterest around $ 70 per share, people said, up 25 percent from Pinterest’s opening price on Wednesday. Pinterest stock rose about 13 percent after reports of the potential transaction, bringing the company’s valuation to $ 39 billion, and trading on the New York Stock Exchange was suspended twice on Wednesday. Bloomberg reported first the news of deal talks.

A Pinterest spokeswoman declined to comment. PayPal did not respond to a request for comment.

If a deal were to close, it would be one of the largest consumer internet purchases in recent history and would be more than Salesforce takes over Slack last year for $ 27.7 billion. It would also be one of the largest acquisitions for PayPal, which was spun off from eBay in 2015 and whose valuation rose to $ 306 billion.

PayPal is facing increasing competition in digital payments. Stripe, a start-up that provides payment services to businesses, has been gaining ground in recent years and private valuation of $ 95 billion.

In the past few years, PayPal bought Payy, a Japanese credit company, and iZettle, a Swedish payment processor. These stores had a more direct link to its digital payment services, which people use to pay for goods and services online without the need for a credit card.

Pinterest, which is used to store images on digital bulletin boards, makes money selling ads. Since many of its “Pins” are products, the company offers “Buyable Pins” so that users can shop directly in its app. Instagram, Facebook’s photo sharing app, recently made a similar foray into e-commerce.

Pinterest was founded in 2009 and went public in 2019. Last year, the share price hit new highs as the company experienced robust sales and user growth during the pandemic.

Pinterest was also criticized after lawsuits and allegations of mistreating female employees. Last year, two Pinterest employees spoke about sexism and racism they’d experienced at the company. Also the top executive from Pinterest sued for discrimination and retaliation, leads to a $ 22.5 million settlement. The outrage over these stories prompted several hundred Pinterest employees to join hold a virtual strike last year.

This year, a woman who said she helped develop Pinterest with its founders sued the company for breach of contract. Pinterest said the claims were unfounded.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.



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