Endeavor, who are the majority owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, has returned a $400 million investment from the Saudi Arabia government.
The talent agency and UFC owners also canceled its contract with the kingdom over the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi according to the New York Times. The money was given to Ariel Emanuel of Endeavor by the Saudi government last year at a party in Hollywood.
This is not the first company to make a move against the Saudi government after the Khashoggi murder, as both Uber and Goldman Sachs representatives pulled out of a investment conference in the kingdom last year. Richard Branson of the Virgin Group, a media and technology conglomerate, also suspended talks with the Saudi Arabia government after the journalist’s murder.
Khashoggi was murdered by the Saudi government on October 2 of last year, but the Saudi government initially denied any wrongdoing, only confessing to the deed a short time later. The body of the journalist was reportedly cut into pieces afterward and possibly burned in a furnace.
There is no word at this time as to whether or not any other companies, such as the WWE, which has received a plethora of criticism for running events in the country, will pull out of their respective deals with the Saudi government.