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Image: Nintendo Life

It's been a disruptive period in the game industry, with an increasing number of major takeovers and notable investments, ranging from Tencent continuing to expand its reach, Sony in the process of purchasing Bungie and Microsoft in a similar stage of its Activision Blizzard acquisition. In terms of financial manoeuvring we've seen some notable moves from Nintendo, too. It recently ran another major buyback of its own shares, and later this year will implement a 10-for-1 stock split; the latter is a move typically made by companies in strong financial health.

Today the focus shifts to Saudi Arabia's 'Public Investment Fund' (PIF), a government-run sovereign wealth fund. As reported by Bloomberg, PIF has acquired a 5.01% stake in Nintendo, stating that the move is for investment purposes. That stake makes it the fifth biggest shareholder of Nintendo.

Bloomberg cites a Nintendo spokesman as saying that the company heard about the investment from news reports, and would not comment on individual shareholders.

Saudi Arabia's PIF has been particularly active this year; in February it spent around $1 billion on stakes across two businesses. The bigger chunk was spent on 5% of Nexon, a Korean firm with hugely successful online games. The more notable investment from a Nintendo / console perspective, however, was the purchase of 5% of Capcom, which amounted to around $332 million in value at the share prices of that time. Elsewhere, Electronic Gaming Development Company, a subsidiary of the Mohammed bin Salman Foundation, now reportedly owns over 96% of iconic gaming company SNK, having begun its investment in the company back in 2020.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund also has high profile stakes in Activision Blizzard (pending the aforementioned Microsoft takeover), EA and Take-Two, and has generated a lot of headlines in sport due to its purchase of a controlling stake in Newcastle United FC in England, along with its funding of upcoming LIV Golf events.

The investments of Saudi Arabia's PIF in recent years have drawn attention and criticism due to issues such as the country's human rights record, with organisations such as Amnesty tracking the nation's actions in this regard.

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