A Saudi Arabian prince and a Silicon Valley venture capitalist are reducing the cash Elon Musk needs to buy Twitter.
It means Musk will not have to buy the roughly 91 percent of the company shares he does not already own at $54.20 per share. Venture Capitalist Ben Horowitz announced a $400 million investment in a Musk-owned Twitter. “First some news, we are joining Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter and investing $400MM into the company,” Horowitz said in the first tweet on the subject, adding, “Elon is the one person we know and perhaps the only person in the world who has the courage, brilliance, and skills to fix all these [Twitter issues like bots and censorship] and build the public square that we all hoped for and deserve.”
Billionaire Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud told Musk he will roll the dice with approximately $1.9 billion of Twitter stock owned by his Kingdom Holding Company. That is almost $2 billion less cash Musk will have to come up with to complete his takeover of the social media application.
“Great to connect with you my ‘new’ friend, @elonmusk,” Al Waleed commented in a Thursday Twitter post. “I believe you will be an excellent leader for @Twitter to propel & maximize its great potential @Kingdom_KHC & I look forward to roll our ~$1.9bn in the ‘new’ @Twitter and join you on this exciting journey.”
That was a 180-degree turn from his position stated in an April 14 Twitter post, rejecting the offer from Musk.
“I don’t believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects,” the Prince declared. “Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer.”
“Interesting. Just two questions, if I may,” responded Musk. “How much of Twitter does the Kingdom own, directly & indirectly? What are the Kingdom’s views on journalistic freedom of speech?”
Musk, an outspoken free speech advocate was presumably alluding to Saudi Arabia’s tight control of the press in that country. The Islamic kingdom reportedly lacks an independent media and keeps journalists under close surveillance, according to Reporters Without Borders, which ranked the country as one of the worst in the world when it comes to allowing freedom of the press.
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