Saudi Arabia's $400m investment in Endeavor could close in next week
A deal for Endeavor, formerly WME-IMG, the combined Hollywood talent agency and international sports and entertainment company, to sell a stake worth $400 million to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, could close in the next week, according to multiple US reports.
The move by Saudi Arabia, first reported in January, is part of the progressive Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud's (pictured) plan to diversify its oil-based economy.
Proposals under discussion following the deal include the company working with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority and General Entertainment Authority on projects that range from staging events to training athletes, Bloomberg reported. Saudi Arabia will get a seat on Endeavor’s international advisory board, according to the report.
The stake is thought to be one of about 7 per cent, and the deal is described as similar to ones made in August last year, when WME-IMG (as it then was) benefited from a $1.1-billion injection led by investors in Canada and Singapore. The new funding round valued WME-IMG at $6.3 billion, up from $5.5 billion in the previous year.
Endeavor’s existing investors include Silver Lake, SoftBank Group Corp., Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Many observers expect Endeavor to go public at some point, having acquired IMG for $2.3 billion in 2013, and completed the $4-billion acquisition of mixed martial arts promoter UFC in 2016.