Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner's private equity fund has clinched an Israeli deal, marking the first ever Saudi Arabian-backed investment into Israel as the U.S. government continues to normalize relations between the two Middle Eastern countries.
Kushner's Affinity Partners, which is backed by $2 billion from Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, will invest $150 million for a 10 percent stake in the Israeli auto service Shlomo Group, Axios reported. As White House senior adviser to his father-in-law and then-president Donald Trump, Kushner led efforts to implement the Abraham Accords and normalize Israel's relations with its Middle Eastern neighbors. Once Trump left office in 2020, Kushner launched his Miami-based equity firm.
"We are bullish on the long-term growth prospects of Israel and the broader new Middle East," Kushner said in a statement. "Shlomo’s historical growth has been rock solid, and the company has many exciting opportunities in its future."
The Biden administration has continued its predecessor's normalization efforts between Israel and Saudi Arabia, though President Joe Biden's deal may come with more concessions for Israel. This summer, U.S. diplomats introduced a "U.S.-Saudi mutual security pact," under which Saudi Arabia would normalize relations with Israel "provided that Israel make concessions to the Palestinians that would preserve the possibility of a two-state solution," according to the New York Times. Biden is considering a sideline meeting with Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit this month to discuss normalization, Axios reported.
Affinity Partners is also reportedly discussing a $250 million investment in Israel's Phoenix Insurance Agencies, though the deal is not yet finalized.