The country’s Public Investment Fund is considering to purchase a stake from Chinese conglomerate Wanda, which bought the company in 2016, according to news agency Reuters.
This comes as Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor charged 11 people over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi but refused to implicate crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
A deal would be the first test of Hollywood’s appetite for Saudi investment following the murder of the Washington Post columnist.
Reuters reports that the PIF is in talks to hire a financial adviser to help with the bid.
This comes after it emerged that Endeavor was considering withdrawing from a $400M Saudi investment in the company. Last month, sources told Deadline that the holding company that includes one of the world’s pre-eminent talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor, has been working to determine how it might sever ties with the Public Investment Fund. The sovereign-wealth fund acquired a less than 5% stake in Endeavor earlier this year, sources said.
Elsewhere, Gerard Butler canceled a trip to Saudi Arabia for a screening of his film Hunter Killer after Khashoggi’s death. Butler was set to screen Hunter Killer in the country’s capital of Riyadh. The screening comes after Saudi Arabia lifted a 35-year ban on movies in April when they screened Black Panther. The actor said that he “really wanted to go there” but said it didn’t “feel like the right move to make.”
Hollywood has been under mounting criticism of its embrace of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmon, who in April was the guest of honor at private dinner parties at Rupert Murdoch’s vineyard in Bel Air, and whose guests included Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner Bros. studio chief Kevin Tsujihara and actors Morgan Freeman and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and at the Santa Monica home of producer Brian Grazer.
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