PayPal says it is not about to buy Pinterest

The PayPal app appears on the iPhone.

Katya Knipper | DeFodi photos | Getty Images

US payments giant PayPal said on Sunday that it is currently not interested in buying social media platform Pinterest.

In response to what it called “market rumours,” the fintech company said in an update on its website that it was “not seeking to acquire Pinterest at this time.”

PayPal shares are up more than 6% in pre-market trading on the Nasdaq, while Pinterest shares are down more than 9%.

A person familiar with the matter told CNBC that PayPal was at a late stage in talks to buy social media company Pinterest on Wednesday, after Bloomberg first reported it.

Pinterest shares rose on the back of the report. The company’s stock stalled twice before closing more than 12%. Meanwhile, PayPal closed down about 5%.

PayPal has discussed acquiring the company at a potential price of about $70 per share, which would value Pinterest at about $39 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Pinterest, which allows users to create and share photo boards, went public in April 2019, with a value of just over $10 billion. Its market capitalization today is about $37 billion.

Andrew Jeffrey, a Trust Securities analyst, told CNBC last Thursday that he was skeptical about the PayPal-Pinterest merger.

“Moving to make another deal online, even in social media, doesn’t make much sense in the long run,” Jeffrey said, adding that PayPal needs to monetize the physical world.

“Unless the company can monetize e-com (instore) with Venmo, we believe its growth will eventually return towards e-com growth and that kind of slowdown isn’t currently priced in stocks,” he added.

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