Legendary Entertainment is denying a report that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund PIF, or Public Investment Fund, is eyeing a $700 million investment in the entertainment company owned by the Chinese Dalian Wanda Group.
“Legendary Management has no interest in conducting a transaction with PIF,” a representative for Legendary told TheWrap.
A person familiar with the company told TheWrap that Legendary, however, is not in need of cash right now, and if it were to take an investment to support its parent company, it would not be from Saudi Arabia.
The report originated from a story early Thursday in Reuters pointing to unnamed sources familiar with the matter that PIF is eyeing a $500 million to $700 million investment in Legendary, adding that the company is in talks to hire a financial adviser to assist it with the bid.
The Reuters story also added that Legendary has not had any formal discussions with PIF and that plans are in early stages. According to Reuters, PIF, who has had ambitions in investing in Hollywood for some time, believes however that Wanda will be open to a deal such that they can divest overseas assets and trim debt.
PIF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The news comes in the wake of the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Oct. 2, who was a vocal critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. CNN reported today that Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for five individuals allegedly directly involved in “ordering and executing” the murder of Khashoggi, charging 11 people in all. After denying for weeks that they knew anything about Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi officials admitted last weekend that Khashoggi died at a Turkish consulate, saying he was killed in a fistfight.
The Wang Jianlan Wanda purchased Legendary in 2016 for $3.5 billion.