Twitter sorts out lock-up agreements ahead of releasing IPO plans

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Oct 1, 2013 10:10pm EDT

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Men are silhouetted against a video screen with a Twitter logo as he poses with a Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc's bankers contacted early investors this week asking them to sign a 180-day lock-up agreement by Wednesday afternoon, showing the company is moving swiftly toward its initial public offering.

The email from Goldman Sachs, the lead underwriter of Twitter's IPO, asked shareholders to sign and return a form by 5 pm Pacific time on Wednesday acknowledging that they would be prohibited from selling shares for 6 months after the firm lists, according to two shareholders who received the email.

Twitter declined to comment.

Twitter and Goldman are moving swiftly to prepare for the IPO and could soon disclose its S-1 documents that lay out Twitter's IPO plans and its well-guarded financial numbers.

Quartz, the business news website, first reported on Sunday that Twitter intended to make its IPO plans public this week.

Companies often use lock-up agreements to prevent insiders from selling shares simultaneously following an IPO, thereby flooding the market and depressing the stock price.

Twitter, which is expected to be valued at up to $15 billion, tweeted on Sept 12 that it had filed with U.S. regulators to go public, but had done so confidentially and without providing a timeline under a process available to emerging growth companies.

(Editing by Michael Urquhart)

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