Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund Buys Stake in Disney, Facebook

The fund also bought stakes in Starbucks, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Qualcomm and Uber, among others

Last Updated: May 15, 2020 @ 3:34 PM

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund on Friday revealed that its recent push into U.S. investments includes stakes in the Walt Disney Co., Facebook, Starbucks and others.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the country’s Public Investment Fund recently bought more than 5 million shares in Disney for just under $500 million, and more than 3 million Facebook shares for more than $520 million. Both stakes are less than a fraction of a percent but illustrate the fund’s increasing interest in having a position in the U.S.

Saudi Arabia’s PIF also bought stakes in Starbucks, Bank of America, Berkshire Hathaway, Qualcomm and Uber, among others. The fund has been on a spending spree in recent months, as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to issue a beating on U.S. companies.

Last month, the fund disclosed that it poured nearly $500 million into concert and live events company Live Nation, buying more than 12.3 million shares of the Los Angeles-based entertainment company. The purchase gave the fund a 5.7% stake in the company, according to an SEC filing.

Companies like Disney, Live Nation and Carnival Corp. — which the Public Investment Fund also bought a stake in — have been hard hit by the pandemic, which has shut down large social gatherings and live events.

The Public Investment Fund, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, controls more than $300 billion in assets and has invested in other American companies like Tesla. The fund’s portfolio now totals more than $10 billion in U.S. holdings.