Twitter investor Saudi Prince Alwaleed rejects Elon Musk's takeover offer

Tesla's billionaire chief executive offered to buy 100 per cent of the microblogging site for about $43bn

Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Reuters
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Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns a stake in Twitter through his Kingdom Holding Company, rejected Elon Musk’s offer to buy 100 per cent of the microblogging platform for about $43 billion.

“I don't believe that the proposed offer by Elon Musk [$54.20] comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter given its growth prospects,” Prince Alwaleed said on Twitter.

“Being one of the largest and long-term shareholders of Twitter, Kingdom Holding Company and I reject this offer."

Kingdom Holding originally invested $300 million in Twitter for about 3 per cent in December 2011.

When the company based in San Francisco went public in November 2013, the value of the company’s shares in Twitter soared to $600m.

In October 2015, Prince Alwaleed and his company raised their ownership in Twitter to about 5.2 per cent, bringing the market value of their ownership to more than 3.75 billion riyals ($1bn).

Mr Musk, the billionaire co-founder and chief executive of electric vehicle maker Tesla, on Thursday proposed an offer price of $54.20 a share to buy Twitter in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The amount represents a 38 per cent premium on the closing price of Twitter's stock on April 1, the last trading day before his investment of 9.2 per cent in the company was publicly announced, he said.

As Twitter's single largest shareholder after his acquisition of about 73.5 million shares valued at about $3bn, Mr Musk was offered a seat on its board, but he declined the offer this week.

"I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy," he said on Thursday.

"However, since making my investment I now realise the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed as a private company.

"My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder."

Twitter said it would "carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action".

Updated: April 15, 2022, 8:17 AM