Twitter Investor Prince Alwaleed Bought More Shares Friday, Dumped Them Wednesday

Published: May 20, 2022
Updated: May 20, 2022
Twitter Investor Prince Alwaleed Bought More Shares

Twitter Investor Prince Alwaleed Bought More Shares

The Saudi prince purchased some shares after Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover was put on hold last Friday and the stock dropped. He sold the identical Twitter shares at a loss less than a week later. Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed, a Twitter investor, is one of Elon Musk’s A-List backers.

The Saudi prince purchased some shares after Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover was put on hold last Friday and the stock dropped. He sold the identical Twitter shares at a loss less than a week later.

One of the A-List investors giving Elon Musk $7.1 billion in equity funding for his $44 billion Twitter buyout, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed, conducted some fascinating trading of the social media company’s stock over the previous week.

According to a late Wednesday SEC filing, Prince Alwaleed spent $20 million buying 490,000 Twitter shares last Friday, when the price was trading between $40.70 and $40.76 a share. Elon Musk’s tweet about his $44 billion buyouts of the social media business being put on hold on the same day sent shares soaring 9.7% from $45.08 per share on Thursday to $40.72 per share on Friday.

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The price at which Prince Alwaleed purchased his shares suggests that he did so late Friday after the market had absorbed the possibility of Musk canceling the deal or renegotiating a lesser price. He appears to have acquired or sold Twitter shares for the first time in years. The 34.9 million Twitter shares he possessed before his current transactions (including 4.8 million shares held by Kingdom Holding Company, in which he has a 95 percent ownership) were acquired more than five years ago, according to the SEC filing late Wednesday.

At the close of trading on Wednesday, the shares were valued $1.3 billion. Prince Alwaleed most likely believed the market had overreacted and saw an opportunity to buy the dip, anticipating a comeback in Twitter’s shares.

He apparently experienced buyer’s remorse or wanted to express his unhappiness with Musk’s actions a few days later. Whatever Prince Alwaleed’s motivation for slightly boosting his Twitter stake on Friday, he sold the same 490,000 shares for total revenues of $18.3 million on Wednesday, resulting in a $1.7 million trading loss – laughably little for a man with $1.3 billion in Twitter holdings. Meanwhile, his initial Twitter shares are worth 19.6% less than they were on April 13, the day before Musk announced his plans, and 9.5 percent less than they were at Friday’s closing.

Twitter Investor Prince Alwaleed Bought More Shares

It’s unclear if he meant to buy the dip and hold it or spent $20 million or more to flip it and make a statement. (Prince Alwaleed was unavailable for comment.) However, everything is conceivable. Prince Alwaleed, like his rival turned buddy Musk, has been known to change his views on a dime. After all, he was a loud opponent of Musk’s takeover of Twitter, writing on April 14 that “as one of Twitter’s largest & long-term owners, @Kingdom KHC & I reject this offer.”

Musk responded with a tweet that questioned “the Kingdom’s beliefs on journalistic freedom of speech.” Prince Alwaleed didn’t respond until May 5, the day Musk’s ownership promise was publicized. Rather than answering Tesla’s inquiry, Prince Alwaleed replied in the same thread, “nice to connect with you my “new” friend @elonmusk.”

Musk is an “outstanding leader for @Twitter to propel & realize its huge potential,” according to Prince Alwaleed. However, given the Prince’s recent trading activities, one has to ask whether he still thinks that.

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