Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has purchased a $400 million stake in Endeavor, one of Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, reports Bloomberg. Endeavor is run by Ari Emanuel - the brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The deal was announced as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, better known by his initials MBS, is on a two week long tour of the United States to spur investment and confidence in the Kingdom.
The purchase comes a week after Goldman Sachs announced plans to deploy its own money in the kingdom for the first time.
The purchase closed on March 19, a day before MBS and U.S. President Donald Trump meet at the White House. MBS is scheduled to be the guest of honor at a Los Angeles dinner hosted by Endeavor Chief Executive Officer Ari Emanuel in early April.
The visit comes as the United States and much of the West are still trying to figure out Prince Mohammed whose sweeping program of social changes at home and increased Saudi assertiveness abroad has upended decades of traditional rule in Saudi Arabia. The 32-year-old crown prince also has big economic plans, and over three weeks in the U.S. he will meet businessmen in New York, tech mavens from Google and Apple Inc. in San Francisco, and entertainment bigwigs in Los Angeles. Other stops include Boston and Houston.
“This is not the real Saudi Arabia,” Prince Mohammed said when asked by CBS News about the repressive version of Islam many outsiders associate with the kingdom. He said he was restoring the more tolerant, egalitarian society that existed before Saudi Arabia’s ultraconservatives were empowered in 1979. “We were victims, especially my generation that suffered from this a great deal.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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