Triller bids $20 billion on TikTok

Bloomberg notes that TikTok-rival Triller and Centricus (a London-based multinational investment firm) are the new suitors with a $20 billion offer to buy TikTok’s US company, joining Oracle and a recently merged attempt by Microsoft / Walmart to acquire the famous short-form video app.

Things have become a little odd following Bloomberg’s post. A TikTok spokesman told Reuters that he did not receive bid and was never contacted with a potential offer. They also downplayed the notion, replying to Bloomberg, “What is Triller? ” and calling the deal “preposterous.”

And yet Triller went on record announcing an offer to The Verge, saying it made the offer directly to TikTok mother company, ByteDance and not to TikTok itself. Here is a cheeky remark by executive Triller chairman Bobby Sarnevesht:

“We submitted an offer directly to the chairman of ByteDance through Centricus and have confirmation it was received. We didn’t make an offer to TikTok, they aren’t involved in this at all, We made an offer to ByteDance and are dealing directly with the chairman only. Either people multiple layers down aren’t aware of what is happening on the highest level or they may have their own agendas and aren’t happy about our offer coming in.”

And yet a spokeswoman for Bytedance still says that the organization is “unaware of any interest.”

TikTok has not yet reflected on the Triller allegation but has stated to The Verge that it has not yet received an offer. Centricus did not respond instantly to The Verges request for clarification, but it refused to comment earlier to Bloomberg.

As originally defined by the source of Bloomberg, a Triller / Centricus deal will see Centricus pay TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, $10 billion in cash up front, and another $10 billion in joint equity benefit for TikTok ‘s properties in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and India. Triller — who already runs a related service to TikTok and will potentially assist Centricus in operating a social video application after the acquisition — will have a minority interest in the company.

The fate of TikTok has been up in the air after President Donald Trump released an executive order forcing his parent company ByteDance to either sell or split off the company’s US parts, citing the Chinese-based company’s national security issues. (President Trump appears to be a bigger Triller follower, with Trump launching a service account earlier in August.)

Multiple firms have shown interest in buying TikTok ‘s properties in the weeks after, with Microsoft as an early bidder, followed by business tech company Oracle, all of which are currently in intensive talks with ByteDance. Since then, Microsoft has revealed an unexpected agreement with Walmart to acquire the TikTok . It is claimed that Twitter and Netflix have had talks over a possible acquisition, but it is not certain if one of them is still interested, but  Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced that the company will not be proceeding with the purchase.

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