Twitter Inc received a $300 million investment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
The investment followed “several months of negotiations,” Kingdom Holding said in a statement. The Riyadh-based company, controlled by Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, jumped as much as 8.9 percent and closed 5.1 percent higher at 8.25 riyals in Riyadh.
“The company believes that social networking will change the fundamentals of the media industry,” Halawani said in a telephone interview, adding that Alwaleed and Kingdom Holding bought the shares from founding shareholders. “I expect Twitter does not need further funding before going public.”
Alwaleed leads the 2011 Arab Rich List. His investment company, Kingdom Holding, agreed to buy a “strategic stake” in Twitter, a strategic holding that means more than 3 percent as Ahmed Halawani, a Kingdom Holding director, said in an interview. That would give Twitter a valuation exceeding $10 billion.
Also Twitter, which lets its users send 140- character messages, is revamping the site to make it faster and simpler to navigate. Twitter is launching as well a new advertising platform. Twitter is seeking to speed up the rollout of advertising features, its main source of revenue. The microblogging service’s revamp includes tabs at the top of the screen that let users more easily access their home pages, connect with others and discover new content. EMarketer cut its estimate for 2011 ad revenue to $139.5 million from $150 million in September because Twitter has been slow to roll out some services.