PGA Tour Attracts Potential Outside Investors
The PGA Tour is drawing interest from potential outside investors, some of whom are considering making a competing offer to the Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund (PIF), according to anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
Endeavor Group Holdings and Fenway Sports Group are among those exploring the possibility of investing in the PGA Tour, either as a rival to or in conjunction with the PIF’s proposed deal.
These discussions are in the early stages and have emerged from a PGA Tour investment vehicle established as part of the framework agreement for the proposed deal with the PIF.
A spokesperson for the PGA Tour stated, “Throughout 2023, the PGA Tour has demonstrated its strength, reach, and value as a business. While we remain focused on finalizing an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour, we have received unsolicited interest from other investors.”
Representatives for Fenway and Endeavor declined to comment on the matter.
Reports from Bloomberg indicate that Endeavor and Fenway are considering a rival offer.
In June, the PGA Tour announced a proposed merger with LIV Golf after months of legal disputes and competition between the two entities. LIV Golf is financed by the PIF, which is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Under the framework agreement, the PGA Tour would maintain a permanent controlling interest on the board of directors of the new entity, regardless of the PIF’s investments. The PIF has expressed its intention to invest billions into the entity while holding a noncontrolling minority stake.
Specific details of the deal and its valuation are still under discussion. The final agreement must be approved by the tour’s board, including player directors. Ultimately, the tour and its members will decide on the investment structure, whether it involves the PIF or alternative investors.
The merger between LIV and the PGA Tour has faced criticism and controversy, leading to an investigation by a Senate subcommittee. The PIF has been accused of using sports as a distraction from the kingdom’s human rights violations.
Endeavor recently facilitated the merger of UFC and World Wrestling Entertainment, resulting in a newly merged publicly traded company called TKO. Fenway Sports Group is an investment firm that supports various major sports franchises, including the Boston Red Sox, the Liverpool Football Club, and the Pittsburgh Penguins of the NHL.