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In Play Today: Twitter considers sale; Apple eyeing Lit Motors

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents In Play Today, a periodic summary of potential deal activity in the sector, including rumored transactions. This summary is based on information obtained by S&P Global Market Intelligence and may not be inclusive of all potential deal activity. Send comments and news leads to mali@snl.com.

Media

* Time Warner Inc. and Viacom Inc. are making separate plays for Telefónica España's Argentinian broadcaster Telefe in a potential deal that could be worth up to $400 million, The Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 28, citing people familiar with the talks. Both parties are expected to submit concrete offers within days, with Telefónica announcing its decision by October, according to the report. Media conglomerate Grupo Cisneros is also reportedly eyeing the Argentinian broadcaster.

* Twitter Inc.'s board is seriously considering selling the company and has received interest from a number of potential bidders in the media and technology space, CNBC.com reported Sept. 23, citing unnamed sources close to the matter. While a deal is not imminent, it could materialize before the end of the year, according to the report.

* Apple Inc. approached Lit Motors, a developer of an electric self-balancing motorcycle, for a potential acquisition, The New York Times reported Sept. 21, citing three people who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Several former Lit Motors engineers reportedly are already working for the iPhone maker.

SNL Image

* McLaren Technology Group denied a recent report that Apple was in talks to buy the luxury carmaker, Reuters reported Sept. 21. "We can confirm that McLaren is not in discussion with Apple in respect of any potential investment," a McLaren spokesperson said. However, the automobile company "regularly" has "confidential conversations with a wide range of parties, but we keep them confidential," the spokesperson added.

* Apple is not making a play for Jay Z's music streaming platform Tidal, BuzzFeed News reported Sept. 14, citing an interview with Jimmy Iovine, head of Apple Music. On reports about talks between Apple and Tidal, Iovine said the tech giant is "not looking to acquire any streaming services."

* Tech giants, including Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Salesforce, are interested in Yahoo! Inc.'s portfolio of patents that is estimated to be valued between $1 billion and $4 billion. Yahoo, which hired the services of Black Stone IP to sell about 3,000 patents covering a range of technologies, has claimed that about 140 companies are infringing on its patents and has reportedly initiated talks with some of them, the New York Post reported Sept. 9, citing a source familiar with the matter. The patent portfolio, called Excalibur, reportedly includes patents for online payment services, mobile messaging, data mining and behavioral ad targeting.

Communications

* Verizon Communications Inc. is in the advanced stages of talks to buy mobile video startup Vessel, Recode reported Sept. 21, citing sources familiar with the talks. The sources added that Vessel is planning to launch a new "Snapchat-like" product.