Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund Takes $500M Stake In Live Nation

Live Nation Logo 2017
– Live Nation

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment fund has purchased a roughly $500 million stake in Live Nation Entertainment, with the acquisition of 12.3 million shares, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filing made public today (April 27).

The Public Investment Fund is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign-wealth fund. The buy gives the PIF approximately a 5.7% interest in Live Nation, and the company a bump in its share price in the hours immediately after the announcement, from an opening price of $39.45 to approximately $42 at midday.

Saudi Arabia has made no secret of its interest in investing in entertainment among other sectors in recent weeks, and Live Nation has been aggressively making moves to stanch the bleeding caused by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

President and CEO Michael Rapino has given up his salary for the year and purchased $1 million of Live Nation shares to show his confidence in the company’s ability to weather the storm of a total concert shutdown. Other execs have taken major salary cuts, and Live Nation has also instituted a hiring freeze, reducing the use of contractors, renegotiating rents, and eliminating discretionary spending including travel and entertainment, repairs and maintenance, marketing and other expenses.

According to the SEC filing, the Public Investment Fund rose above 5% ownership in Live Nation on April 16. Liberty Media remains the largest shareholder at approximately 33%.