Deal is first since being detained last year in Saudi Arabia's anti-corruption crackdown
Prince Alwaleed invests 1 billion riyals into music streaming company Deezer
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has invested 1 billion riyals (Dh979.3 million) into music streaming company Deezer, his first deal since being detained last year in an anti-corruption crackdown.
The prince’s Kingdom Holding investment vehicle and his media company Rotana Group have bought new shares in Deezer, according to a statement from Alwaleed’s office on Thursday. Deezer will also get access to Rotana’s audio and video content as part of the deal.
The investment marks a return to deal-making for the prince, who began the year confined to the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh, which had been transformed into a prison for suspects in a graft probe.
Alwaleed was the most prominent among hundreds of Saudi businessmen, officials and princes who were swept up in November and detained in the Ritz-Carlton in what the authorities called a crackdown on corruption. He was released in January after signing a “confirmed understanding” with Saudi authorities, he told Bloomberg in March. Signing the document left him free to function normally with "zero guilt" and "zero conditions."
The last investment made by Alwaleed, who is ranked the 61st richest man and has a fortune of $16.8b (Dh61.7b), was the acquisition of a 16.2 per cent stake in Banque Saudi Fransi from Credit Agricole SA in September. Since his release, he has restarted talks with banks for a loan of at least $1b to fund new deals, and said he was considering spinning off some of the $13b in assets held by Kingdom Holding, potentially into a real estate investment trust.
Deezer abandoned an initial public offering in 2015 before raising 100 million euros in private equity in 2016.