Saudi Arabia’s MiSK foundation acquires 33.3% of Japanese gaming company

Saudi Arabia’s MiSK foundation acquires 33.3% of Japanese gaming company
Samurai Shodown, is part of the SNK franchise. (Supplied)
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Updated 03 December 2020

Saudi Arabia’s MiSK foundation acquires 33.3% of Japanese gaming company

Saudi Arabia’s MiSK foundation acquires 33.3% of Japanese gaming company
  • The investment is part of the foundation’s commitment to developing the skills of young men and women in Saudi Arabia, MiSK said

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Foundation “MiSK” has announced a strategic investment of SR813 million ($216.5 million), acquiring 33.3 percent of Japanese video game hardware and software company SNK.

This purchase came with the stipulation that the Saudi foundation would buy another 17.7 percent of SNK shares in the future, raising its share of investment in the company’s ownership to 51 percent and making the Saudi crown prince the majority shareholder of SNK once the deal is finalized.

The investment is part of the foundation’s commitment to developing the skills of young men and women in Saudi Arabia, MiSK said. The decision will also enhance the capabilities of SNK, which has many innovative intellectual properties in the gaming sector.

While MiSK owns several patents in the gaming sector, the formation of a deal with one of the leading companies in the field will help the foundation to promote its presence within the industry while enabling it to achieve partnerships with both local and international organizations in various fields.

“Through the MiSK foundation, we take initiatives, encourage innovation and in turn, ensure sustainability and growth to achieve the higher goal: developing the human mind,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, founder and chairman of the board at MiSK, said in a statement on the foundation’s website.


German startup to help Saudi hotels utilize empty spaces

German start-up NeuSpace, established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates, is now working in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
German start-up NeuSpace, established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates, is now working in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Updated 21 January 2021

German startup to help Saudi hotels utilize empty spaces

German start-up NeuSpace, established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates, is now working in Saudi Arabia. (Shutterstock/File Photo)
  • COVID-19 pandemic has brought slump in average hotel occupancy rates in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A German start-up established during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic to help hotels overcome a slump in occupancy rates is now working in Saudi Arabia.

NeuSpace aims to assist operators in coming up with new ways to generate revenue from their empty spaces.

Anne Schaeflein, a co-founder of the Dusseldorf-based company, told Arab News: “For hotel properties still in the completion phase, we feel it is best to evaluate the perspective, and to diversify pre-opening.

“To be empathic to the existing (or planned) infrastructure and environment of the location, we run a feasibility study and look at how the space could be best used from an ROI (return on investment) as well as community perspective. Turning function spaces into day nurseries, delis, and bakeries,” she said.

Anne Schaeflein, Collaborative Founder NeuSpace. (Supplied)

According to the company’s website, it aims to address the needs of hotel investors, operators, and the wider community surrounding the property.

“We deliver quick solutions to retain some of the hospitality jobs, and add others, and offer attractive living space for communities, all within one to four months, depending on the individual projects,” the company said.

A report in November by global hotel data analysis company, STR, found that the average occupancy rate in Saudi Arabia was 34.7 percent, down 38.7 percent on the previous year. As a result, the average revenue per available room fell 35.5 percent year-on-year to SR172.70 ($46.05).

Looking to the future, real estate consultancy firm, Colliers International, has forecast that average occupancy rates in Riyadh and Alkhobar will be 55 percent, 51 percent in Jeddah and Madinah, and 37 percent in Makkah.

On innovative solutions, Schaeflein said the startup’s concept was formed around the key pillars of value preservation, creating new housing space, and innovative housing concepts.

She pointed out that the company looked at how areas such as roof gardens or social spaces could be used by the wider community, or how pools and spas not being used by guests could be utilized by local residents.

NeuSpace also studies how back-office services and facilities could be offered to residents to better utilize staffing levels. This could include offering dog-minding services, turning rooms into office or retail areas, or renting out restaurant and entertainment spaces when footfall was low.