Yasir Al-Rumayyan has revealed that the PIF's takeover of Newcastle United has made one of the 'biggest impacts' despite being one of the fund's 'smallest' investments.
The PIF, which has more than $700bn in assets, bought an 80% stake in the club back in 2021 at a time when winless Newcastle were deep in relegation trouble. Now, little more than two years on from the £305m buy-out, the Magpies are competing in the Champions League and fighting towards the top end of the Premier League.
More than £400m has been spent on new signings since the takeover, but this figure pales in comparison to the numbers the PIF have pumped into LIV Golf as Newcastle comply with strict Financial Fair Play rules. Al-Rumayyan touched on this in a discussion chaired by the chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace this week.
"We have already invested in many companies," the Newcastle chairman said. "Like Aston Martin, McLaren, even Newcastle United Football Club as you may know, which is really one of the smallest investments but one of the biggest impacts I would say.
"These are the reasons why people are here in the UK. You have London and you have the rest of the UK. Maybe you want to see it equally or maybe you want to put more weight if you're a financial investor only in London, but we want to move beyond that and be an investor in even private equities.
"With that, you can derive a lot of value because you have so many great companies, technologies and people that you can bring in the form of JVs (joint ventures) back to your home country and that's what we have been doing."
Newcastle's relationship with Saudi has come under intense scrutiny given the Kingdom's appalling human rights record, but this summit was the latest reminder of the UK's close links with the country. In fact, Al-Rumayyan was among those who met both King Charles III and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at a reception at Buckingham Palace this week.