Prince Alwaleed makes $600m in Twitter IPO

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The frenzy over Twitter shares when it launched on the stock market on Thursday has earned Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and his company Kingdom Holding an estimated $600m.

A company statement on Sunday said the pair’s investment had increased in value by 200 percent on the first day of trading, when shares rose more than 70 percent.

In 2011, Alwaleed and Kingdom Holding spent $300m on a stake in Twitter they said was worth more than 3 percent. Based on that value and the statement that it had risen 200 percent, the combined investment is now worth $900m.

“Twitter is the most prominent social media network in the world and our investment in the company is a strategic long-term investment,” Alwaleed said in the statement.

Despite the billionaire prince hinting last month that he could buy more of Twitter when it went public, the statement on Sunday made no suggestion he had increased his stake.

Twitter had priced its stock at $26 prior to the initial public offering but fierce competition for the limited shares saw the company open on the New York Stock Exchange at more than $45 and quickly top $50 before closing at $44.90 – an extraordinary first day of trading, particularly considering Facebook’s IPO flop in 2012 following similar hype.

Alwaleed and Kingdom Holding also have significant investments in other media companies, including the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (a 29.9 percent stake), 21st Century Fox (7 percent) and Rotana media (majority owned by Alwaleed).

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