COVID-19 hit the entertainment industry hard, and Live Nation is drowning in its consequence. However, there is a silver lining to this past quarantine since its downturn. The government of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund just acquired 5.7% of Live Nation.
With all concerts and sporting events worldwide shut down, at least LN is coming up for some air now. The Saudi Public Investment Fund contains 12,337,569 shares. They filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday morning.
As a result, Live Nation’s share prices have risen by more than 2 percent within minutes of trading. SA’s passive investment value is just shy of $500 million. Wahoo! They purchased it on the open market, with John Malone’s Liberty Media being the largest individual shareholder at 33%.
In addition to its revenue at a halt, LN has undergone several legal issues. This includes being sued for reluctantly refunding customers in full. While the amendments have since been issued and complaints addressed, the industry remains a ghost town. The pandemic dropped their share price more than 40 percent since January 1st.
The Saudi government makes this their second investment in Live Nation this month. It seems they’ve been coming to the rescue for a few entertainment outlets. That includes Carnival Cruises. SA has been trying to boost their tourism industry since the pandemic struck. International travel, live events and concerts is part of their strategy. BTS is even backed by them as the first foreign band to perform in one of their solo stadiums.
As they make their moves, when will Hollywood? Many firms have been reluctant to invest and with good reason. Saudi Arabia doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to live-entertainment tactics. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi back in October 2018 is an example of their reluctance.