One of the industries that has been hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak has been live entertainment. Live Nation, the leader in the space, was hit especially hard – their stock price in February was at around $75 and when the market crashed, fell down to $29. That means the Live Nation stock, symbol LYV, is undervalued at the moment, so if you are somebody with disposable income, it seems like a good long term investment. That's exactly what the government of Saudi Arabia did, acquiring a 5.7% investment in the Live Nation, the parent company of Ticketmaster.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Saudi Public Investment Fund disclosed the purchase of 12,337,569, shares in a public filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this morning.
Based on the value of the stock, it's seen as nearly a $500 million investment, leading to shares of Live Nation to jump today to over $41. As of this writing, the stock is up almost 10%.
The purchase makes the Saudi government the third largest shareholder. Liberty Media still maintains a 33% stake in the company.
Live Nation could use the influx of cash, as they were low on liquid cash to be able to process refunds, leading to terrible publicity and lawsuits. They have since offered a 30 day window to get refunds, although the process is a bit confusing.
Many companies have been avoiding working with the Saudi government since the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but that has not stopped the Saudi government from aggressively playing the stock market. They recently invested a $775 million stake into the Carnival Cruise Lines.