Musk and criticism of funding from the Saudi prince to buy Twitter

from Massimo Gaggi

First he criticized him, then he supported him by keeping his 1.9 billion investment: storm over the relationship between Musk (self-described champion of freedom) and Prince Al-Waleed bin Talad (who comes from a country where freedoms often do not are respected)

NEW YORK – Increasingly reckless in his adventures to conquer Twitter and in the world of finance, Elon Musk has thrown Tesla shareholders into despair (and the stock immediately lost 8%) announcing that, at least temporarily, he will also be the CEO of the San Francisco social network, while progressive news sites criticize him because, while presenting itself in words as a missionary of the absolute freedom of the networkaccept funding from free-killing Arab countries (and even governments).

The attacks were triggered by the publication, on Thursday evening, of yet another prospectus for the retrieval of the 44 billion dollars necessary for the total Twitter purchase sent by Musk to the SEC: the federal authority of the stock exchange that the founder of Tesla has fondly termed a den of bastards. Musk had initially divided the operation into two parts: bank loans for 23 billion while he would have put another 21.5 billion by selling Tesla shares. Now, however, he reduces his personal exposure because he has found investors willing to become minority shareholders or to remain in the shareholding structure: he therefore no longer needs to take over the entire capital of the company. In a few days Musk has raised 7.1 billion. Critics immediately pointed the finger at decision of Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal to keep his 1.9 billion investment in Tweet (which dates back to 2011) and sui $ 375 million pledged by the Qatari sovereign wealth fundas well as sui 700 of VYCapital of Dubai.

Why Elon, who claims to buy Twitter not for profits but to make one beacon of freedom of expressionaccept money from Countries where freedom of speech is denied and journalists who do not follow the directions of the regime end up in jail or risk their lives? A Qatari law, for example, promises 5 years in prison for those who spread “false or malicious news”. The criticism is certainly justified precisely because Musk stands as the guardian of freedoms and has already distinguished himself in the past for contradictory attitudes on this front: he condemned the measures on the masks and the short lockdowns in America in the darkest phase of the pandemic as illiberal, but he never said anything about China’s much tougher stance and the total blockade of Shanghai. Where is the most important Tesla factory in the world. A silence rewarded by the Chinese authorities which allowed him to resume production with the workers who, in order not to violate the rules on the city lockdown, sleep in the factory.

It should also be noted, however, that the investment of Qatar (with which, moreover, everything in the world does business) modest: 375 million is a small thing compared to billion put on Twitter by Larry Ellison of Oracle or ai 800 million of the Sequoia venture capital fund. How much, then, to Al Waleeda financier who with his Kingdom Holding Co. has invested everywhere from Apple to Coca Cola to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and that we also know well: at the end of the nineties, shareholder of Berlusconi’s Mediaset, came to Italy to express interest in the privatizations of Eni, Enel and Finmeccanica. Here the great curiosity concerns the reasons for the sudden change in the attitude of the Saudi prince, who passed in a few days from the dry rejection of Musk’s offer for Twitter to his even enthusiastic acceptance, with relative confirmation of his investment.

A really curious film, obviously scripted on Twitter. When Musk offers $ 54.20 per share, Brutal Al Waleed: I don’t think it reflects or even comes close to the intrinsic value of Twitter. As a long-standing and leading shareholder of the company, I reject your offer. Musk replies with an equally dry tweet in which he questions the political and financial credentials of the Saudi prince: Interesting. Just two questions, if I may: how significant is the share of Twitter owned, directly or indirectly by his Kingdom? And what is your point of view on the freedom of speech of journalists? After a few days of silence (and underground negotiations), Al Waleed returns to Twitter to announce peace: Not only keeps his investment in Twitter, but calls Musk a new friend and excellent leader. Concluding with a I am thrilled to embark on this new adventure with him. What did that devil Elon promise him?

May 6, 2022 (change May 6, 2022 | 19:13)

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Musk and criticism of funding from the Saudi prince to buy Twitter

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