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STX Entertainment Seeks Saudi Arabia Investment as Indie Studio Struggles

STX Entertainment is in discussion with a Saudi Arabia investment fund to bring in much needed capital, an individual with knowledge of the talks told TheWrap.

As TheWrap previously reported, the five-year-old studio has been eagerly seeking a cash investment or a potential buyer in recent weeks, after a string of flops at the box office. The studio recently put off an upcoming movie release starring Dave Bautista and let a Jennifer Lopez project go to Universal.

The investment would make STX the first major Hollywood entity to take money from Saudi Arabia since the murder of Washington Post opinion writer and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. (U.S. intelligence reports confirm that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself ordered Khashoggi killed.)

The individual said that the investment discussions were being driven directly by the crown prince, via a government-backed fund. “It’s his way of showing that his money will be taken by Americans and it’s not about the studio,” the individual told TheWrap.

It’s unclear if the discussions involve the Saudi government’s Public Investment Fund, which invested $400 million in WME parent company Endeavor in March 2018 that the Hollywood giant returned earlier this year following the outcry over Khashoggi’s murder.

A spokesman for STX would not confirm or deny the talks: “We speak to a broad range of investors around the globe interested in our business and we don’t comment on those discussions.” Reps for the Saudi Public Investment Fund did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

STX CEO Robert Simonds has previous business ties in Saudi Arabia. In October, he joined a slew of media and entertainment executives who backed out of

Article source: https://www.thewrap.com/stx-entertainment-seeks-saudi-arabia-investment-as-indie-studio-struggles/

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