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Saudi's PIF-Owned Unit Buys $265 Mln Stake in Chinese Gaming Company VSPO

Chinese esports company VSPO, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK), said on Thursday Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund has bought a stake worth $265 million in the company, as the kingdom continues its push in the gaming market.

Saudi's Public Investment Fund will take a stake in VSPO through gaming unit Savvy Games Group and become the Chinese company's single largest equity holder, VSPO said.

Saudi has been expanding its investments in the gaming industry by taking stakes in Japan's Nintendo Co (7974.T) and Swedish gaming group Embracer (EMBRACb.ST) last year.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in September last year laid out a $38 billion strategy for Savvy Games Group, with the aim of making Saudi "the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector by 2030".

VSPO, which has sought U.S. and Hong Kong listings before, said Savvy's investment would help it accelerate the growth of mobile esports "with a particular focus" on Saudi. Savvy said the investment would help it diversify.

"This is a significant transaction for Savvy, and gives us a major foothold in the important Asia region. We are looking forward to diversifying our geographic footprint alongside VSPO," Savvy Chief Executive Officer Brian Ward said.

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