After Elon Musk tweeted that his $44 billion Twitter buyout was on hold last Friday and the stock fell, the Saudi king took some action. Less than a week later, he sold the same Twitter shares at a loss.
Twitter investor Prince Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia, one of the A-list investors providing Elon Musk with $7.1 billion equity financing for his $44 billion Twitter takeover, has made some interesting trades in the social media company’s stock over the past week.
According to an SEC filing late Wednesday, Prince Alwaleed bought 490,000 Twitter shares for a total cost of $20 million last Friday when the stock traded between $40.70 and $40.76 per share. It was the same day that Elon Musk’s tweet about his $44 billion takeover of the pending social media company sent shares soaring 9.7% to $45.08 per share. at Thursday’s close at $40.72 per share at Friday’s close.
The price at which Prince Alwaleed bought his shares suggests his trades took place late Friday as the market digested the prospect of Musk canceling the acquisition or renegotiating a lower price. It appears to be the first time in years that he has bought or sold Twitter stock. According to the SEC filing late Wednesday, the 34.9 million shares of Twitter he held prior to his latest trades (including 4.8 million shares held by Kingdom Holding Company, in which he has a 95 %) were acquired more than five years ago. Those shares were worth $1.3 billion at the close of trading on Wednesday. Prince Alwaleed probably felt the market had overreacted and saw a rare opportunity to buy the dip, expecting Twitter stock to rebound.
A few days later, he apparently had buyer’s regret, or perhaps wanted to register his displeasure with Musk’s moves. Whatever the reason Prince Alwaleed slightly increased his Twitter position on Friday, he sold those same 490,000 shares at an average price of $37.27 per share on Wednesday for total proceeds of $18.3 million. dollars, locking in a $1.7 million trading loss — comically small for a man with Twitter holdings worth $1.3 billion.
Meanwhile, his original Twitter shares, which are locked in by his equity pledge to Musk, are worth 19.6% less than they were on April 13, the day before Musk released his plans. , and 9.5% lower than they were at Friday’s close. .
It’s unclear if he originally intended to buy the dip and hold, or if he spent around $20 million to flip it and make a statement. (Prince Alwaleed could not be reached for comment). But anything is possible. Like his enemy-turned-friend Musk, Prince Alwaleed is known to change his mind in no time. After all, he was initially a vocal critic of Musk’s takeover of Twitter, tweeting on April 14 that as “one of Twitter’s largest and longest-term shareholders, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer. This prompted a follow-up tweet from Musk questioning “the Kingdom’s views on free speech for journalists”. Prince Alwaleed waited until May 5, the day his engagement to Musk was announced, to respond. Dodging the Tesla chief’s question, Prince Alwaleed replied in the same thread that it was “great to connect with you my ‘new’ friend @elonmusk”.
Prince Alwaleed went on to praise Musk as “an excellent leader for @Twitter to propel and maximize his great potential”. But given the prince’s recent business activity, you have to wonder if he still believes in it.