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Monday, December 19, 2011
Saudi Prince Alwaleed Makes a $300 Million Investment in Twitter

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on Monday unveiled a $300 million stake purchase in Twitter, gaining another foothold in the global media industry.

The investment, made by by Alwaleed and his Kingdom Holding Co investment firm, resulted from "several months of negotiations and comprehensive due diligence," Kingdom said in a statement.

"Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact," Prince Alwaleed commented.

"We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years.Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend," said Eng. Ahmed Halawani, KHC Executive Director of Private Equity and International Investments.

Applying an $8 billion valuation figure for Twitter used by some analysts, the investment by Alwaleed and Kingdom amounts to a 3.75-percent stake.

Twitter is a communication platform that instantly connects people everywhere to what's most meaningful to them. At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets, which are 140 characters or less in length.

Twitter has 250 million Tweets per day and more than 100 million active users, accessing the service from the web, smartphones or simple phones.

Facebook, the world's largest social network has more than 750 million active users.

Prince Alwaleed has a strong presence and influence in media through his investments in media and entertainment in the Arab world, and beyond like the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), in which Kingdom Holding holds a 29.9% stake. The publications that fall under SRMG include Asharq Al Awsat, Al Eqtisadiah, Arab News, Hia magazine, Al Majalla magazine, Arrajol magazine and Sayidati magazine. Furthermore, other entities that fall under SRMG are Al Khaleejiya for Publicity Advertising and Public Relations and Al Madina Printing and Publishing Company. Furthermore, KHC is owner of approximately 7 percent of News Corporation?s Class B Common Stock.

In February 2010, Rotana Group announced that Newscorp has reached an agreement to buy a 9.09 percent stake in Rotana Group, to further develop its postion in the media sector in the Middle East and expand it horizon. Under the terms of the agreement, News Corporation will acquire newly-issued shares in Rotana for $70 million. News Corp. has an option to increase its stake to 18.18 percent in the 18 months following completion.

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