Twitter Takeover War: Musk Shuts Down Saudi Prince Bin Talal, Taunts Him Over Freedom of Speech in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, a major shareholder of Twitter, has turned down the takeover offer made by Elon Musk. The Tesla founder had offered to acquire Twitter Inc for around $41 billion. The proposed bid came with $54.20 per share but the prince rejected it on grounds that it "did not come close to the intrinsic value" of the popular social media platform. However, the Twitter CEO has said the board will look into the details of Musk's bid.

Reacting to Talal's comment, Musk posed him two questions. He asked the Saudi billionaire how many shares he held in Twitter and what were the Kingdom's views on freedom of speech for journalists.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk said Tesla cars will soon have 1,000 kilometers range per charge Wikimedia Commons

According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with a total fortune of $16.5 billion, Prince Al Waleed bin Talal is recognized as the richest individual in Saudi Arabia. Most of the wealth of the Saudi Prince has been acquired from his 95% ownership of the Riyadh-based conglomerate, Kingdom Holding Company. He had purchased Twitter shares in 2011..

A gathering of the Twitter board of directors to thoroughly contemplate on Musk's offer to buy 100% of the microblogging platform shares for just about $43 billion had the Saudi Prince's tweeting his rejection of the bid.

Bin Talal declined the proposal saying that bearing in mind the platform's growth prospects, the firm is worth more. Talal and Kingdom Holding Company expanded its ownership in the social media giant to about 5.2 percent worth more than 3.75 billion riyals ($1bn).

Al Waleed bin Talal
Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal Wikimedia Commons

"My offer is my best and final offer and if it is not accepted, I would need to reconsider my position as a shareholder," said the Tesla CEO on Thursday as he had been offered a position on the board of directors but declined the offer. Twitter had responded that it would "carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action".

Musk later added, "I invested in Twitter as I believe in its potential to be the platform for free speech around the globe, and I believe free speech is a societal imperative for a functioning democracy, however, since making my investment I now realize the company will neither thrive nor serve this societal imperative in its current form. Twitter needs to be transformed into a private company."

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