Saudi Prince Buys 3% Stake in Twitter
Prince Walid bin Talal of Saudi Arabia announced that he increased his stake in social media site Twitter to $300 million, or roughly 3% of the company, as he continues to expand his holdings in the United States.
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Walid said in a statement that the purchase was part of a strategy “to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact.” He also owns stakes in American blue chip companies Citigroup (NYSE:C), General Motors (NYSE:GM), and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Twitter has more than 100 million active users, and has been increasingly popular in the Arab world, where it is credited with playing a role in the recent social uprisings across North Africa and the Persian Gulf. Arabic-language messaging is the fastest-growing segment on the microblogging site. The volume of Arabic messages increase 2,146 percent in the 12 months ended October 31.
“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend,” said Ahmed Reda Halawani, head of Kingdom Holding Company’s private equity and international investments. Prince Walid owns 95 percent of Kingdom Holding.
Walid is a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s king, and is one of the Arab world’s richest men, holding an estimated $21 billion in assets, according to Arabian Business magazine.