Saudi Arabia Buys $500 Million Stake in Live Nation

The Saudi Public Investment Fund will become the company's third-largest shareholder

Live Nation on a smartphone
Photo Illustration: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Saudi Arabian government’s sovereign wealth fund has reportedly acquired a 5.7 percent stake in Live Nation valued at $500 million.

The Ticketmaster parent company has been hit hard by live event cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it recently caught heat for refusing to provide refunds for postponed events, though as The Hollywood Reporter notes, “it has since amended its refund rules to address those complaints.”

On Monday, the Saudi Public Investment Fund disclosed the stake, which is comprised of 12,337,569 shares, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The purchase makes the Saudi Public Investment Fund Live Nation’s third-largest shareholder; John Malone’s Liberty Media remains the largest individual shareholder with a 33 percent stake in the company. The move comes as Saudi Arabia recently picked up a large stake in another company hit hard by the coronavirus, buying a $775 million stake in Carnival Cruises.

“Saudi Arabia has been trying to bolster its tourism industry before the pandemic upended international travel, and live events and concerts had been a big part of that strategy,” The Hollywood Reporter explains. “Last October the K-pop superstars BTS became the first foreign band to perform a solo stadium show in the country. Meanwhile, in Hollywood, many firms have been reluctant to take investment from the fund following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

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