Who is Alwaleed bin Talal? Meet the shady Saudi billionaire trying to take on ELON MUSK

Talal was arrested in 2017 on charges including money laundering, bribery, and extorting officials.


                            Who is Alwaleed bin Talal? Meet the shady Saudi billionaire trying to take on ELON MUSK
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal rejected Elon Musk's $41 billion offer for Twitter ownership (Oli Scarff/Theo Wargo/ Getty Images)
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Prince Alwaleed bin Talal appears to be the man who is trying to block Elon Musk from buying Twitter. The Prince, a major shareholder in the tech giant, turned down Tesla CEO Elon Musk's $41 billion offer to own Twitter outright.

After billionaire Elon Musk made the offer, Prince Alwaleed tweeted rejecting Musk's offer on Thursday, April 14. The Saudi Arabian royal tweeted, "I don't believe that the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects. Being one of the largest & long-term shareholders of Twitter, @Kingdom_KHC & I reject this offer. " KHC is the holding company where Bin Talal operates. But the 67-year-old hinted that he would reconsider if the Tesla billionaire can cough up more funds.

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Who is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal ?

Up till 2017, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was one of the richest men in the Middle East. He was born in Jeddah as the son of Saudi Arabia's finance minister and grandson of the first king of Saudi Arabia. He had completed his higher education in the U.S. He also held a 1985 master's degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He was married to Princess Ameerah for eight years, but they divorced in 2013.

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Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is greeted by Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed bin Talal at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit, on March 09, 2010 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Karl Jeffs/Getty Images)

His fortune is concentrated in his 95% stake in Kingdom Holding Company, which invests in other companies. He had started investing in Twitter from 2013 and now owns a share of 5.2%. Besides Twitter, he owns shares in Lyft, Citigroup and top hotels, including the George V in Paris and the Plaza in New York. 

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In 2008, he was judged by Time to be one of the top 100 most influential people in the world. The billionaire has lived a life of untold riches, reportedly once owning a 435-room palace. His net worth was $39.8 billion, according to Forbes in 2017.The prince owns one of the biggest yachts in the world, the 282 ft Kingdom 5KR, which was even featured in the James Bond film 'Never Say Never Again.'

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Suadi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and Princess Ameerah exit after the wedding of Their Royal Highnesses Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge on April 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

However, he suffered as a result of a bitter feud with his cousin, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and nearly lost everything. He was arrested in 2017 on charges including money laundering, bribery, and extorting officials, and the crown prince seized $2 billion worth of his assets that were held in Saudi Arabia. He also tried to snatch his foreign assets. He was reportedly targeted as part of a major crackdown on corruption in the country.

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But the prince was released in January 2018 after he made an undisclosed financial settlement with the Saudi government after being held captive for two months. It is still not clear what he had to pay to be released, but officials had previously ordered him to pay at least $6 billion.

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