As Twitter reportedly moves closer to its IPO, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal hands the San Francisco-based company a hefty check. See here a video report from Newsy:
Embedded Video Source by Newsy.com
Transcript by Newsy
BY HARUMENDHAH HELMY
The billionaire who’s been called the Arabian Warren Buffett wants in on the business of tweeting. Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is shelling out a $300 million investment in Twitter.
“Alwaleed says the move represents an interest in investing in, quote, ‘promising high-growth businesses with a global impact.’ The investment gives his company a more than 3 percent stake in Twitter…”
Alwaleed and his company, Kingdom Holding, are calling the investment a ‘strategic stake.’ According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, this investment would give Twitter a valuation exceeding $10 billion.
The Washington Post tells us more about the prince’s past ventures.
“Alwaleed … already has an impressive investment portfolio, including Citigroup, Apple, Kodak, Motorola, Pepsico, Walt Disney, Proctor and Gamble and several high-end hotels such as the Four Seasons. As far as American media companies are concerned, the prince’s only major investment is in News Corp., where he is the second-largest stakeholder, after the Murdoch family…”
Dubai’s Kipp Report calls Alwaleed’s Twitter move– quote– “edgy,” but says it could cost him his reputation in Saudi Arabia. That’s because Twitter is often credited with helping spread the Arab Spring.
“Clear financial support for such unregulated speech may lose Alwaleed more favour amongst more conservative elements in the kingdom, where he also has significant investments … in a country where the printed press remains heavily self-censored and foreign news publications still arrive with pages torn out, the prince’s latest punt may be a reputational gamble.”
As for the Twitter side – Bloomberg reports, big investments aren’t the only things new for the company.
“Twitter’s in the midst of some big changes right now. Its original founders have all essentially left the company. It’s trying to push through a redesign to attract investors. And speaking of which, Twitter is expected to boost its ad revenue by 86 percent next year–in part because of international advertisers.”
The Wall Street Journal notes the move still leaves market watchers with unanswered questions about Twitter. The company has been reported to be quietly moving closer toward its initial public offering.
“Was Prince Alwaleed buying shares directly from Twitter, or from an existing investor (or executive) looking to cash out his or her shares? … Does Twitter need the money? If not, why did they raise the money? (‘Why not,’ you might say.) Does Prince Alwaleed’s investment give Twitter more time to prep for an IPO?”
Alwaleed is the nephew of Saudi King Abdullah. Forbes lists Alwaleed as the richest man in Saudi Arabia, and 26th in the world.
Transcript by Newsy.
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