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10 March, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 March, 2019 11:38:31 PM
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Khashoggi murder

US firm returns $400m fund to Saudi Arabia

Al Jazeera, Doha
US firm returns $400m fund to Saudi Arabia

A Beverly Hills-based talent agency, Endeavor, has returned a $400m investment fund to Saudi Arabiaand cancelled its contract with the kingdom over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the New York Times reported. The fund was given to the firm's chief Ariel Emanuel during a high-profile Hollywood party last spring, which brought together Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), Disney chief executive Robert Iger and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, among others.

The money was meant to fund the growth of Endeavor and diversify the kingdom's economy through the agency's work in various industries, including sports and film production. But following the murder of Khashoggi, the firm returned the fund, protesting the murder, and effectively ending its relationship with Saudi Arabia, according to two NYT sources with knowledge of the deal.

The move came months after several international companies, including Uber and Goldman Sachs, cancelled plans to attend an investment conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in October last year.  It also followed Richard Branson, founder of the British media and technology conglomerate Virgin Group, suspending talks with Saudi Arabia over potential investment in his business ventures, the NYT reported.

During a tour of the United States last spring, MBS met a number of US politicians and business leaders, seeking deals to develop Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund and reduce the country's dependence on oil.

During the trip, he signed deals with film theatre company AMC and amusement park operator Six Flags to expand into the kingdom and promote its entertainment industry, reported the NYT.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Riyadh government, was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After weeks of repeated denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom eventually acknowledged that its officials were behind the murder. The whereabouts of his remains are still unknown.

 

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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