Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is considering an investment in BeIn Media Group, people familiar with the matter said.
The Public Investment Fund is among parties that have informally signaled interest in partnering with Doha-based BeIn, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. US private equity firms are also keen to invest, they said.
Deliberations are in the early stages and there’s no certainty they’ll result in any investments in BeIn. The broadcaster could also explore alternatives including an initial public offering, one of the people said.
“BeIn Media Group is considering a number of strategic options,” the company said in response to Bloomberg News inquiries. A representative for PIF declined to comment.
State-owned BeIn operates across five continents and holds the rights to broadcast some of the world’s biggest sporting events, including the UEFA Champions League football tournament, in its home market in the Middle East.
Any partnership or investment in an established global broadcaster like BeIn would be a boost for Saudi Arabia as it opens up to hold entertainment events, particularly professional sports, under Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
The kingdom has already hosted major events in boxing, golf and F1 motor racing and is also planning to invest billions of dollars to become a hub for e-sports.
BeIn’s chairman is Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who’s also the president of Paris Saint-Germain, the French football club backed by Qatar funds. BeIn owns 51 per cent of Miramax, the Hollywood production and distribution company behind films including Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting and The English Patient.