In an unexpected move, a member of the Saudi royal family has invested $300 million in social networking company Twitter. This morning, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, founder and CEO of Kingdom Holding Company and one of the wealthiest people on the planet, announced the investment, which was reported first by Bloomberg.
In a statement, Twitter’s newest equity holder says that the investment was the result of “several months of negotiations and comprehensive due diligence”.
Prince Alwaleed commented: “Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact.”
Prince Alwaleed and Kingdom Holding (KHC) have stakes in many Arab and international media and entertainment companies; including a roughly 7 percent stake in News Corp.
According to Wikipedia, Kingdom Holding’s international investments include (or have included) other notable tech companies such as Apple, eBay, AOL, Motorola, Compaq and Amazon.
We’ve contacted Twitter for comment and will update when we hear back.
Update: Twitter has confirmed the investment but did not want to disclose more details.
Update 2: reportedly, KHC bought a 3 percent stake in Twitter, which means the investment values the company at $10 billion.
Update 3: The investment is not new. It is part of a previously-reported $800 million round last summer.