Newcastle United’s would-be owners continue coronavirus spending spree with more massive investments

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The Saudi sovereign wealth fund that will take an 80% stake in Newcastle United has continued it’s coronavirus spending spree by buying stakes in a number of a high-profile firms including Disney, Facebook, Citigroup and Boeing.

The Public Investment Fund has spent billions on acquiring stakes in Boeing, Citigroup, Facebook, Disney and Bank of America among others – just a few weeks after buying stakes in Warner Brothers and Carnival Cruises.

Bloomberg reported the PiF has bought a $713.7 million stake in Boeing, a $522 million stake in Citigroup, has invested $522 million in Facebook and $495.8 million in Disney and $487.6 million in Bank of America, according to filings lodged with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US.

They have also bought $514 million stake in Marriott and an $827.7 million stake in BP.

It puts into perspective the fund’s investment in Newcastle – some £280million – which is a much smaller bet in terms of finances but obviously has wider ramifications in terms of changing the way Saudi Arabia is viewed around the world.

It also appears to illustrate PiF is looking to invest while the pandemic is wreaking havoc with the world economy. Yasir al-Rumayyan, the chairman, told a Zoom conference earlier this month that they were looking at “opportunities” the crisis would provide.

The Newcastle deal may be the smallest of the lot but it is attracting the most controversy and it would appear it is also providing the Premier League with a challenging Owners and Directors check given concerns about piracy.

However United fans may ask why it is that the PiF is able to invest in some of the world’s biggest companies but their attempt to buy Newcastle – backed by 97% of supporters in the NUST’s most recent survey – remains locked in a process which holds the club’s future in its hands.

With PiF looking to make more purchases in the coming weeks, Saudi investment in companies which do billions of pounds worth of business in the US and the UK is not going to stop anytime soon.

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