The Strategist

Saudi investment fund to buy a stake in American Endeavor for $ 400 million

03/19/2018 - 14:21

The Saudi Arabian Sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) will acquire a $ 400 million stake in the US Endeavor, the world's largest agency for hiring show business representatives. This is reported by Bloomberg referring to sources familiar with the situation.

James N. Mattis via flickr
James N. Mattis via flickr
According to the agency's interlocutors, the deal is scheduled to close on March 19, the day before Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Donald Trump meet in the White House.

In early April, the prince will be an honored guest at a dinner in Los Angeles, organized by Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel.

Endeavor, which organizes events around the world, including the Fashion Week in New York, can play a key role in restoring the entertainment industry in Saudi Arabia. Cinemas and other forms of cultural expression were banned in the kingdom more than 35 years ago.

One of the options discussed is the company's work with the Saudi Arabia Sports General Administration and the Kingdom's Chief Entertainment Office on projects from organizing events to training athletes, sources say.

PIF buys Endeavor shares on the same terms as the Singapore GIC Pte and the Council for Investments in Canada's pension plan, in which they invested last August. Two sources said that the fund will receive a 7% stake in Endeavor, while another source told of a slightly smaller share.

In addition, Saudi Arabia will get a seat in the international advisory council of Endeavor on entertainment, sports and fashion.

As reported earlier, Mohammed bin Salman's plan Vision 2030 envisages diversifying the economy of Saudi Arabia, creating the world's largest sovereign investment fund and reducing dependence on hydrocarbons.

The entertainment industry is one of the sectors that the Crown Prince has prioritized in the framework of Vision 2030. The authorities are now weakening some of the social restrictions that made Saudi Arabia one of the most conservative countries in the world. In January, public theaters showed movies for the first time in decades.


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