Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a Saudi Arabian investor, said on Thursday that Elon Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur, will be an "excellent leader" for Twitter, as he confirmed to roll his $1.89 billion stakes into the agreement rather than cash out.
The Saudi prince who initially rejected Musk's takeover bid for Twitter now says he embraces the move after joining a group of billionaire investors in assisting the Tesla CEO in securing funding for the $44 billion deal.
On Apr. 14, Prince Alwaleed opposed the buyout bid, claiming that the price offered by Musk, the world's richest man, did not come close to Twitter's intrinsic value given its growth prospects.
The prince tweeted last month, just days after Musk announced his offer to buy out Twitter shareholders for $54.20 per share: "I don't believe the proposed offer by @elonmusk ($54.20) comes close to the intrinsic value of @Twitter given its growth prospects."
As one of Twitter's largest and longest-term shareholders, the prince rejected the offer.
What caused the prince to change his opinion about Musk's takeover of Twitter is unknown. Following the board's initial rejection of Musk's buyout offer, the Tesla CEO reached out to members to explain his strategy for making the company more profitable.
Prince Alwaleed is the chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company, a Riyadh-based conglomerate that bought Twitter stock in 2011 before the company went public in 2013.
He also owns significant stakes in companies such as the Four Seasons hotel chain, Uber, Lyft, and Citigroup.
According to Reporters Without Borders, Saudi Arabia frequently surveils and arrests journalists, making the country one of the worst in the world for press freedom. According to US intelligence, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman personally approved the brutal murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
According to Bloomberg News, Musk secured funding for his bid by promising to implement job cuts and other cost-cutting measures, such as reducing executive pay.
Earlier on Thursday, Musk disclosed in an SEC filing that he had secured more than $7 billion in funding to privatize Twitter.
Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who has pledged $1 billion, Sequoia, which has pledged $800 million, VyCapital ($700 million), Binance ($500 million), and Andreessen Horowitz ($400 million) are among the 19 investors who have committed to buying a stake in a Musk-controlled company.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that Musk intends to take Twitter public again in as little as three years after purchasing the company.