According to an SEC filing Monday, the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Riyahd – the sovereign wealth fund of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia – purchased 12,337,569 shares of Beverly Hills-based Live Nation. The stock popped higher on the announcement, trading up 4.2% in late morning to just over $40 a share – making the investment worth close to $500 million.
Live Nation has struggled like many firms with mass shutdowns of concerts and public events. Its portfolio includes Ticketmaster and other ticketing services, venues, talent management and festivals like Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo. Earlier this month, the company announced furloughs, cost cuts and a new $120 million revolving loan facility to provide a cash cushion during the crisis. CEO Michael Rapino is forgoing his 2020 salary.
The shares have been battered, well off their 52-week high of $76.60. The Saudi Arabia fund evidently saw a bargain – not the first. This month it also acquired 8.2% of Carnival, cruise lines being another sector on the ropes with bookings at a standstill.
The filing said 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.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.