Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal Invests $300 Million in Twitter - NBC Bay Area

Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal Invests $300 Million in Twitter

Royal family member says Twitter is where the media is going.



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    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is greeted by Saudi billionaire Prince Waleed bin Talal at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

    You'll have to forgive Twitter if he looks a little different this morning.

    Over the weekend the San Francisco-based micro-blogging site was infused with a bit of royalty.

    Saudi Arabian Prince Walid bin Talal announced that he has invested $300 million in Twitter as part of his ongoing effort to expand his financial interests in the United States.

    The New York Times says bin Talal hold assets worth a reported $21 billion. He will now own just under 4 percent of Twitter.

    The prince said in a statement that the purchase was part of a strategy "to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact."

    The investment comes as Twitter's popularity and importance has increased in the Middle East over the past two years, culminating by playing an integral part in the Arab Spring. The company is also coming off of a $400 million funding round, pushing the startups valuation above $8 billion.

    Bin Talal's investment is a major statement from someone who is the nephew of the king of one of the Middle East's most socially conservative countries.

    But his organization, Kingdom Holding, said it sees Twitter as playing a pivotal role in the transition of media.

    "We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend," Ahmed Reda Halawani, Kingdom Holding’s executive director of private equity and international investments, said in a statement.

    The prince did not purchase the shares directly from Twitter but instead he acquired them on the secondary market.

    Walid also owns stakes in Apple, Citigroup and General Motors.