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Sat 9 May 2020 11:33 AM

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Saudi Public Investment Fund said to make offer for Warner Music

The move is Saudi Arabia's latest foray into the entertainment sector after taking a $500m stake in Live Nation

Saudi Public Investment Fund said to make offer for Warner Music
Ed Sheeran, one of Warner Music's artists. 

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has made an offer to buy Warner Music Group, (WMG), according to media reports.

Citing a source close to WMG owner Len Blavatnik, the Hollywood Reporter has reported that the PIF has already made an offer for the company – one of only three ‘majors’ in the music industry.

The company is valued at $12.5 billion.

“There’s one other bid in the mix, and it will come down to a number,” the source was quoted as saying.

In February of this year, the PIF made an offer to buy a $750 million stake in the company ahead of a planned IPO, which was later shelved in March.

“It would be a welcome investment from a debt perspective to see some of these companies that are more dramatically affected [by Covid-19] bring in some equity rather than just brining on lots of debt, particularly some of the larger-cap media names like Disney and ViacomCBS,” Moody’s analyst Neil Begley was quoted as saying in the report.

In late April, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) purchased a stake in Live Nation entertainment in a deal valued at approximately $500 million.

In US Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the PIF disclosed that it owned 5.7 percent of the company, totalling 12.3 million shares.

The PIF’s stake in Live Nation rose beyond 5 percent on April 16, the filing noted. The PIF is now the company’s third largest shareholder. Its primary shareholder is Liberty Media, which owns a 33 percent stake in the company.

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