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Saudi Arabia buys $500 million stake in entertainment giant Live Nation in coronavirus bargain buy-up Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi Arabia buys $500 million stake in entertainment giant Live Nation in coronavirus bargain buy-up

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversees Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund [Getty]

Date of publication: 29 April, 2020

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Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund bought a $500 million stake in entertainment giant Live Nation, as the company struggles with coronavirus-hit stock prices.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) bought a 5.7 percent stake for $500 million in entertainment company Live Nation on Monday, according to news reports, indicating a potential trend which sees the PIF purchasing stakes in corporations whose stock prices were hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The purchase took place amid the Saudi sovereign wealth fund's highly-publicised and heavily criticised bid to take over English football club Newcastle United for a proposed £300 million.

Live Nation, parent company to Ticketmaster, saw its price shares plummet by over 40 percent since the beginning of the year, as public events around the world were cancelled due to the pandemic.

News of the PIF's purchase of its 5.7 percent "passive" stake in Live Nation led to an approximate 10 percent rise in the company's stocks on Monday, according to Billboard.

Prior to Live Nation, the PIF has bought a 8.2 percent stake for $775 million in the embattled cruise line Carnival. The company's stock price tumbled after one of its cruise ships experienced a large Covid-19 outbreak.

Among a number of reforms touted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - who oversees the PIF - Saudi Arabia has looked to diversify its oil-reliant economy and boost its tourism sector.

But the country has also witnessed a horrific clampdown on activists, including women right's campaigners.

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