Related Reportedly Took On Large Investment From Saudi Wealth Fund Pre-Pandemic
Related reportedly locked down a sizable capital infusion from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund just before the coronavirus pandemic rocked the global economy.
Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, which is headed up by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, made the investment in the first week of February, Vanity Fair reported in an article examining Related Chairman Stephen Ross’ relationship with President Donald Trump and the company’s approach to the crisis.
Sources told Vanity Fair the financing is convertible debt, and convertible into 15% equity of Related, which is developing the $25B Hudson Yards megaproject and owns nearly 70,000 apartments across the country. The funding from PIF will be used for “general corporate purposes,” according to the report, and is likely worth "in the hundreds of millions of dollars" considering Related's size. Neither Related nor representatives for PIF commented on the reported investment, and the article notes both parties are private entities.
Earlier this month, Related CEO Jeff Blau said publicly that retailers and office tenants with cash have an “obligation” to pay rent — though reports revealed gym Equinox, in which Related owns a large stake, skipped April rents at multiple locations.
Known as MBS, bin Salman is widely believed to have ordered the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. PIF recently invested in troubled cruise operator Carnival Corp. and has also moved to buy English soccer team Newcastle United.
PIF is indirectly a major backer of WeWork and other venture-backed real estate firms. Of the $100B invested in SoftBank Group's Vision Fund — the group that pumped WeWork, Katerra, OpenDoor and Oyo full of cash — $45B came from PIF.