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Saudi prince opens wallet, buys $300m slice of Twitter

Stake bought with billionaire royal's loose change

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Saudi prince and billionaire investor Alwaleed bin Talal has snaffled a $300m (£194m) stake in Twitter.

The prince, along with his investment vehicle Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), bagged the strategic stake after "several months of negotiations and comprehensive due diligence".

"Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact,” Prince Alwaleed said in a canned statement from KHC.

The company added that it believed social networking would change the media industry and Twitter could "capture and monetise this positive trend".

Both KHC and Prince Alwaleed, whose personal fortune is estimated at around $20bn, take a lot of interest in media and technology companies, counting investments in Apple, HP, eBay, Time Warner and the Walt Disney Company in their portfolios.

The firm also holds about a seven per cent share in News Corporation, making Prince Alwaleed the second largest investor in Rupert Murdoch's empire.

The cash injection comes just a few months after Twitter completed a funding round rumoured to have raised about $800m.

At the start of August, Twitter said on its blog that it had "an opportunity to expand Twitter's reach with a significant round of funding led by the venture firm DST Global, with the participation of several of our existing investors".

The micro-blogging site didn't expand on the numbers, but reports at the time suggested Russian investment company DST had ponied up $400m, with an additional $400m coming from the others.

Twitter has made no comments on Prince Alwaleed's modest purchase. ®

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