It’s common knowledge that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is working to acquire English Premier League football team Newcastle United from UK billionaire Mike Ashley. Although the Public Investment Fund (PIF) controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been working with British financier Amanda Staveley on the deal for the past few months, PIF is also reportedly seeking advice from financial consultant and friend of Kim Kardashian West, Carla DiBello, to finalize the acquisition, according to Bloomberg.
“A shift is happening,” wrote DiBello on an Instagram post in December with the Saudi Crown Prince, potentially alluding to her advisory role. “Honored to feel so welcomed in The Kingdom.”
The PIF is one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, managing around USD $320 billion of total estimated assets. As a central economic component of Crown Prince Mohammed’s Vision 2030, the Kingdom’s investment fund aims to diversify the country’s economy and “establishes strong economic partnerships that help deepen the KSA’s impact and role both regionally and globally,” according to the PIF website.
DiBello, who founded the boutique consulting firm CBD Advisory, specializes in bespoke partnerships between the Middle East and North America, but her portfolio may be expanding to the Western world overall with this potential UK-based acquisition of USD $440 million.
With UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan successfully owning Manchester City for more than a decade and Egyptian billionaire CEO Nassef Sawiris leading fellow EPL team Aston Villa, it seems the Arab world is focusing on football as an emerging sector for economic growth and international investment.