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Twitter's Costolo: We have a 'truckload of money in the bank'

Chief executive Dick Costolo says the cash gives Twitter the luxury of not having to go public anytime soon.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo doesn't want to go public.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo doesn't want to go public. Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET

When Facebook finally announced its initial public offering, many believed that Twitter would be close behind. But on yet another occasion, the company's chief executive, Dick Costolo, says it won't be happening.

"We are going to remain private as long as we want," Costolo told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published yesterday. "I like being private for all sorts of reasons. It allows us to think about the business and the way we want to grow it in the small boardroom as opposed to being beholden to a particular way of growing the business, such as quarter to quarter."

Costolo's comments closely echo those he made back in May at Wired's Disruptive by Design conference, when he told writer Steven Levy that his company doesn't "see any need or urgency to even think about [an IPO]."

That lack of urgency might be due to the fact that Twitter is apparently flush with cash. Costolo told the Los Angeles Times that his company has a "truckload of money in the bank."

Costolo's concerns with an IPO might also have something to do with Facebook's offering. As CNET executive editor Paul Sloan wrote back in May, Silicon Valley was abuzz with hopes of Facebook launching a new surge of IPOs. But its troubled offering, following by a plummeting stock price, all but put that on ice.

"Traders on Wall Street and main street were hoping for a return of a 1999 bubble," venture capitalist George Zachary of Charles River Ventures told CNET at the time. "And startup founders and investors who aren't rich and want money to rain down on them feel spooked that it won't happen now because Facebook didn't spike upwards."

Although Twitter is a different business with varied virtues and risks that don't necessarily align with Facebook's, it could potentially be lumped into the same category with its larger counterpart. And investors, who tend to remember bad things, might shy away from its shares.

But Costolo doesn't need to worry about that. He has decided that his company is staying private. And it might just stay that way for the long haul.