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Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund Acquires 5.01% of Nintendo

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Value of acquisition estimated at US$2.98 billion

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), chaired by the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, announced last week that it has purchased a 5.01% stake in Nintendo. The Financial Times newspaper estimated a US$2.98 billion value for the purchase.

Based on Nintendo's own listing of its shareholders dated September 30, 2021, PIF would become the second-biggest outside shareholder in Nintendo after The Master Trust Bank of Japan, Ltd. Bloomberg, however, reported the investment would make PIF the fifth-biggest shareholder, citing its own data.

The PIF previously disclosed in February it purchased more than 5% in shares for Japanese developers CAPCOM and Nexon, and also has shares in other game developers and publishers, such as Activision-Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also founded the Prince Mohammed bin Salman Foundation — also known as MiSK — which owns the Saudi Arabian media company Manga Productions. Manga Productions has previously collaborated with Toei Animation on a number of anime projects, including "The Woodcutter's Treasure" short, Future's Folktales, and The Journey. Electronic Gaming Development Company, another company under MiSK, announced in February that it now owns a 96.18% stake in Japanese game developer SNK.

In February 2021, the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence assessed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was a Saudi journalist who relocated to the United States and wrote for The Washington Post newspaper before being killed in 2018. The Saudi Arabian government "completely reject[ed]" the U.S. assessment. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also been criticized for pursuing a war in Yemen that caused a humanitarian disaster and for cracking down on dissenting voices. He has alternately been praised for ending a ban on women drivers in 2018.

Sources: Reuters (Sam Nussey, Saeed Azhar), Financial Times (Antoni Slodkowski, Eri Sugiura), Bloomberg (Takashi Mochizuki, Gareth Allan), Automaton (Taijiro Yamanaka) via Hachima Kikō

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