Saudi PIF acquires 5% stake in Japanese gaming company Nintendo

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF) has acquired a 5.01 percent stake in the Japanese multinational video game company, Nintendo.

PIF stated that this acquisition was made for investment purposes and makes the Fund the fifth largest shareholder in the Kyoto-based company.

Earlier this year, PIF formed a new gaming company named Savvy Gaming Group (SSG) to further develop an integrated ecosystem for the sector and become the leading gaming and eSports group locally and internationally.

The launch of SGG was in line with the PIF’s 2021-2025 plan to promote innovation in strategic growth sectors including entertainment, leisure and sports. SGG purchased ESL Gaming, one of the largest independent eSport companies from Stockholm-based Modern Times Group in an all-cash transaction of $1.05 billion.

In February 2022, PIF acquired a stake of more than 5 percent in Capcom and Nexon, with a total value of over $1 billion. In April, it also acquired a 96 percent stake in King of Fighters developer SNK. In 2021, the Fund invested over $3 billion in Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive.

Nintendo, which announced a 10-1 stock split this month to appeal to retail investors, is expecting a second year of Switch console sales decline due to component shortages.

According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, gaming consumption in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, is estimated to reach $6.8 billion by 2030.

Japan’s gaming platforms are seen to dominate the videogame industry, especially after technology giant Microsoft invested up to $69 billion in the acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard.

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