The sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia has acquired a 5.7% stake in Live Nation, for a price estimated at nearly $500m. Live Nation is a public company, so this was a transaction on the open market, revealed in a filing by the ‘Public Investment Fund’ with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). According to Billboard, this is part of a recent ‘pivot’ by the fund towards investing in entertainment, travel and energy companies.
The news comes a fortnight after Live Nation arranged a new revolving credit facility of $120m, and a program of cost-cutting designed to help it survive the Covid-19 pandemic’s shutdown of the live music industry.
The PIF is currently linked with an acquisition of British football club Newcastle United, although the controversy around that deal – the fiancé of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Saudi consolate in Istanbul last year, recently asked the Premier League to block the acquisition – may yet reemerge around the Live Nation investment too.
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