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Saudi Arabian investment fund acquires 5.7% stake in Live Nation

Saudi Arabian investment fund acquires 5.7% stake in Live Nation
April 28, 2020

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has purchased a 5.7% stake in global entertainment giant Live Nation.

According to an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing, the Saudi fund acquired a total of 12.3 million shares valued at approximately US$500 million, making it Live Nation’s third-largest shareholder.

Liberty Media, which owns a 33% stake, is the largest.

PIF’s stake in Live Nation rose above 5% as of 16th April, according to the filing leading to a rise in Live Nation's share price.

The SEC filing advised that the securities, “were not acquired and are not held for the purpose of or with the effect of changing or influencing the control of the issuer of the securities and were not acquired and are not held in connection with or as a participant in any transaction having that purpose or effect.”

The PIF sovereign wealth fund is among the largest investment groups in the world with total estimated assets of US$320 billion. It was founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia.

The move by PIF is the latest in series of investments in struggling companies that have been either hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, including cruise line operator Carnival, or whose shares have been hit by the collapse in crude prices, like European oil companies Royal Dutch Shell and Total. PIF is also reported to have agreed to buy a majority stake in English Premier League football club Newcastle United for £300 million.

Live Nation has been severely impacted by the cessation of live entertainment during Coronavirus shutdowns, with more than 30,000 concerts and summer festivals being cancelled or postponed across the world. The entertainment giant has seen its share price plummet almost 50% since February as its business came to a virtual standstill.

Earlier this month, the company was forced to make cost-reduction plans, including Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino forgoing his US$3 million annual salary.

The live entertainment giant also unveiled a series of financial moves to protect its concert business amid the shutdown, including a new US$120 million credit facility and a ‘cost-reduction program,’ which includes Rapino’s 100% pay cut.

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21st November 2019 - Ticketmaster fans name Come from Away as Australia’s 2019 Ticket of the Year

6th November 2019 - New US$133 million Discover Saudi platform launched to drive tourism

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18th September 2019 - Live Nation’s Roger Field considers potential of new Gold Coast entertainment arena

16th September 2019 - Arabian Gulf investors acquire Vivaticket

8th September 2019 - Tennis Australia and Ticketmaster agree partnership for tennis events

22nd July 2019 - Live Nation sets sustainability goals for concerts and live events

1st July 2019 - Masterplan revealed for Saudi Arabia’s entertainment and sport city giga-project

18th June 2019 - Live Nation and Ticketmaster announce partnership with Dylan Alcott’s Get Skilled Access accessibility initiative

4th March 2019 - Ticketmaster extend market lead in global entertainment ticketing

2nd March 2019 - Live Nation reveals another record year with 11% rise in global revenues

19th October 2018 - Ticketmaster acquires live events industry blockchain technology company UPGRADED

12th October 2018 - Live Nation enters partnership to develop integrated resort in South Korea

5th September 2018 - Live Nation backs new Brisbane live music venue

16th May 2018 - Live Nation launches ‘Women Nation’ fund to invest in female-founded live music ventures

6th April 2018 - Six Flags announces plans for first Saudi Arabia theme park to open by 2022

2nd March 2018 - Live Nation registers record revenues through 2017

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