Saudi Billionaire Gives Twitter (TWTR) a Big Vote of Confidence

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his investment company Kingdom Holding Co. [KHC] have doubled their ownership of Twitter’s (TWTR) shares, Bloomberg reports, citing a disclosure made in the week the micro-blogging site named Jack Dorsey CEO.

The combined holding represents more than 5%, or 5.17% to be exact, of Twitter’s common stock, making Alwaleed and KHC the second-largest investor in the San Francisco-based company after former CEO and co-founder Evan Williams.

The announcement comes a couple of months after Alwaleed was critical of Twitter’s management and spoke against Dorsey succeeding Dick Costolo when he stepped down as CEO. He told the Financial Times that Dorsey, who at the time was the company’s interim chief executive, should not get the job permanently because of his other job commitments at Square, and that Twitter needed a new leader with extensive marketing experience.

Bloomberg said Alwaleed’s current TWTR stake of 34,948,975 shares is worth about $1 billion, and includes 30.1 million shares owned directly by the prince and 4.85 million by his investment company.

The Saudi billionaire, who ranks 34th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people, and KHC, which he chairs, originally invested $300 million in Twitter in 2011, two years before the social media firm’s 2013 initial public offering.

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