Mar 16, 2018 - Economy

The Saudis are finalizing plans to buy a stake in Hollywood

Mohammad bin Salman.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman arriving at 10 Downing Street. Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working to firm up a $400 million stake in the world’s largest talent agency, Endeavor LLC, so that he can announce the deal during his two-week trip to the U.S., which kicks off next week, the WSJ reports.

Why it matters: The Saudis have a lot of money to spend on diversifying their economy beyond oil, and this effort to push into the entertainment industry aligns with the crown prince’s modernization goals. He is also relaxing some limitations placed on movie theaters in Saudi Arabia this year and has plans to build a domestic film industry.

  • Timing: The move follows the kingdom's recent reforms, such as allowing women to drive and enabling rock bands to host concerts in the country.
  • Notable: AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Vue Entertainment (a European theater chain), and iPic Entertainment also have plans to build theaters in Saudi Arabia.
Go deeper