LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman has responded to my story of yesterday. He confirms that there are rumours that LinkedIn is in buyout talks with News Corporation – but does not confirm them. He reserves the right not to comment now, on the basis that there “may be some truth to them” at some point in the future. He also says he is “entertained” by them.
Hoffman emailed TechCrunch on what is the US Thanksgiving Day holiday to say:
“I am being entertained by the same rumors. Our policy on rumors is “no comment” since in almost everycase [sic.] they are/have been wrong — but we want to reserve the option of saying no comment if and when there may be some truth to them. So, no comment on rumors as always. Have a great turkey day.”
I guess all I can say is that – to borrow a phrase from Mandy Rice Davies – he would say that, wouldn’t he.
But I’ll leave you with this thought: companies entertaining a sale, or already in talks with another party, typically send their chairmen on massive press tours to talk up the proposition.
This week Hoffman was interviewed in the Daily Telegraph, and yesterday he visited BBC News and the BBC’s Newsnight team, as well as The Financial Times.