Middle East billionaire Prince Alwaleed’s detention and his net worth

Middle East billionaire Prince Alwaleed’s detention and his net worth
Photo: AFP

Riyadh: After the controversial auditing order of the royal families was given by the King of Saudi, the committee arrested the National Guard, former Ministers as well as the Middle East’s richest billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

The billionaire Prince was detained this week along with others after the corruption crackdown was ordered against the Royal families. The charges against the billionaire are not yet known.

Prince Alwaleed aged 62 who is well acclaimed for investing in globally famous brands and tech’s was also reportedly known as a regular guest to the US for being the single foreign investor in the US.

Alwaleed has grown to be a strong source as a financer for media companies and global techs. He reportedly invested $300 million in Twitter and $105 million in Lyft.

His company Kingdom Holding’s in 2016 have reportedly bought stakes in Apple company, along with various other famous brands like online Chinese JD.com, 21st Century Fox and News Corp.

The prince is believed to be the second highest stakeholder in the News Corp after the Murdoch family. He was also Citigroup’s largest shareholder.

New York Times reported, “Prince Alwaleed’s arrest is likely to reverberate across dozens of companies around the world that count the investment company that he founded, Kingdom Holding, as a major investor or shareholder.”

The Prince was in news after his meeting with Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein in Riyadh to discuss investments in the Middle East. Llyod Blankfein was reportedly looking to expand his business in Saudi Arabia reported another source.

Last year Prince Alwaleed had held separate meetings with Blankfein and Michael Bloomberg former New York City’s Mayor.

According to the sources, Michael Bloomberg had also agreed to support his private investment the ‘Alarab News Channel’. He has also invested in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts along with Bill Gates.

Prince Alwaleed also was known as “Warren Buffett of Arabia” for his skillful global investments had also bought a 281-foot superyacht (and James Bond film prop) in 1991 for an estimated value of $20 million according to the sources. He reportedly got into the online spat with Trump in 2015 on Twitter.

Nicholas Carlson Chief Editor of Business Insider’s reported Prince’s peculiar hobby that is partying with individuals with dwarfism.

He wrote in his article: “Almost every source we spoke to, including Alwaleed’s official spokesperson, confirmed that, like a medieval monarch, Alwaleed keeps in his entourage a group of dancing, laughing, joking dwarfs. One source called them ‘jesters’.”

Adding that “One time, a source told us, when the Prince was trying to decide what to buy next, he decided to give the choice to his dwarfs—teaching one the word “Boeing” and the other the word “Airbus.” He called a big meeting with all his aviation advisors and had the dwarfs speak. One said “Boeing” in a funny, jesterly way. The other said ‘Airbus’ in the same manner. The source says Alwaleed laughed and went to the Airbus.”

According to the Sources, Prince Alwaleed was also caught in a controversy after a 20-year-old model accused him of drugging and assaulting her on his yacht in Ibiza in 2008. Though the case was dismissed for lacking evidence it is reported to be reopened occasionally at least once said the sources. The case has been dismissed thrice since it was filed said the model’s lawyers.

A representative of Alwaleed in a statement in 2011 said the Prince was in France at the time of the incident and “The alleged encounter simply never happened. Indeed, the events could not have happened.”

“Neither His Royal Highness nor his lawyers were informed or aware of any complaint filed in Ibiza in 2008 or that the same complaint was dismissed in 2010,” the Representative added.

The billionaire reportedly lost nearly $1 billion in net worth after the news of his arrests reached his investors.

According to the Bloomberg, his net worth is about $17 billion.

The Prince is presumed to have gone bankrupt due to his financial crisis in 2008 according to the Times.

The Times reported, “He had been highly leveraged and somehow got elements of the government to bail him out, through his connections to then-King Abdullah and the finance minister, who is also said to have been arrested, ”adding, “Prince Alwaleed’s son Prince Khaled is married to the minister’s daughter.”

Ali Shihabi, Independent Arabia Foundation founder speaking of his arrest told Times that “They must have uncovered evidence of irregular activity and wanted to make an example of him.