Saudi Arabia's PIF snaps up a stake in luxury car maker Pagani

Italian supercar manufacturer's customers include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and football star Lionel Messi

Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund bought a stake in Italian luxury car maker Pagani, which makes some of the most expensive supercars in the world and counts Mark Zuckerberg and Lionel Messi among its list of high-profile clients.

The Public Investment Fund will become a minority shareholder in Pagani upon completion of the deal, which remains subject to customary conditions, the company said on Thursday. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

As part of the long-term strategic partnership that will help Pagani in the next chapter of its growth plan, the PIF becomes a stakeholder alongside existing minority shareholders Nicola Volpi and Emilio Petrone, the company said.

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Mark Zuckerberg reportedly bought a Pagani Huayra for $1.4m in 2014

The Pagani family, which founded the company in 1992, will remain majority shareholder, while Horacio Pagani, founder, chief executive and chief design officer, retains his leadership position.

"We are proud to announce an important partnership with PIF, a key step in our long-term growth strategy, which envisages significant investments to ensure that our next hypercars will keep conveying unique emotions, irrespective of their powertrain technology," Mr Pagani said.

"PIF represents the ideal partner to further consolidate Pagani positioning as a brand in the hypercars segment as well as to support its expansion strategy in the lifestyle segment."

The sovereign wealth fund is a central plank of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plan that seeks to diversify the Arab world's largest economy and reduce its reliance on oil. The fund's investments in US publicly listed companies were valued at $15.94 billion at the end of the second quarter of this year. Under a five-year strategy that was announced in January, the fund aims to more than double the value of its assets under management to $1.07 trillion and commit $40bn annually to develop the kingdom's economy.

In 2018, Pagani which is based near Modena, Italy stunned car enthusiasts with its Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta that came with a $17.5 million price tag and dubbed it the world's most expensive sports car that year.

In addition to variations of its Pagani Huayra, which starts at list price of $2m, the company also creates special and one-off editions. Mr Zuckerberg reportedly bought a Pagani Huayra for $1.4m in 2014 before its price increased.

UBS Investment Bank acted as financial adviser to Pagani, while Withers Studio Legale was legal adviser to the selling shareholders. Rothschild & Co and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer acted as PIF’s financial and legal adviser.

Updated: August 19th 2021, 3:29 PM
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