Endeavor — the company who owns the UFC — have started the process to nix a $400 million investment from Saudi Arabia.
The deal that was being funded through Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Saudi sovereign wealth fund. He has been using the fund to help paint himself as a progressive, while he continues to look for investments to diversify the country’s holdings outside of the fossil fuel industry.
Saudi Arabia was poised to purchase a chunk of Endeavor — reportedly around 5 to 10 percent — for the $400 million investment.
Now according to the Hollywood Reporter, Endeavor is reportedly drawing up paperwork to pull out of the deal over concerns that Saudi Arabia may have been involved in the disappearance and presumed murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
There have been claims that Saudi Arabia orchestrated Khashoggi’s abduction and subsequent murder, but an investigation is ongoing into the journalist’s disappearance.
On Monday, Endeavor co-CEO Ari Emanuel admitted that the company was keeping an eye on the situation involving Saudi Arabia, but he couldn’t comment on the investment deal that had previously been struck.
“Listen, I am concerned,” Emanuel said when speaking to the media in France on Monday. “We are concerned. On the face of it, it’s upsetting, and we are monitoring the situation right now.”
Now it appears those concerns have led to Endeavor cutting ties with Saudi Arabia and the funds that were about to be invested into the company.