June 19, 2024

Fenway Sports Group nearing $3 billion investment in PGA Tour (report)

Strategic Sports Group, led by the Fenway Sports Group “is closing in on an investment that could approach $3 billion” for the PGA Tour, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Boston Globe’s Michael Silverman.

According to Silverman, it would be a minority stake in the new for-profit called the PGA Tour Enterprises, which, per The Tour’s website, includes its commercial rights. Whether Saudi Arabia-backed Public Investment Fund will have a role in PGA Tour Enterprises is still unknown.

Strategic Sports Group was told in December they were the unanimous choice to continue to negotiate a potential partnership with PGA Tour Enterprises.

In June, The PGA Tour announced it agreed to merge with LIV Golf — a Saudi-backed league that several Tour players left the PGA to join. The merge, according to The PGA, was a “landmark agreement to unify the game of golf, on a global basis.”

LIV Golf is a Saudi-backed league that came onto the scene in 2022 and is funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

The merger was said to be investigated by the Department of Justice shortly after it was announced over antitrust concerns.

“A review by the Justice Department — which had already been investigating the PGA Tour and other leading golf bodies for anticompetitive behavior — introduces uncertainty to the planned joint venture between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund,” the Wall Street Journal reported in June. “It also makes it probable that any transaction that is hammered out between the rivals won’t take effect for some time.”

A senior official with the PGA Tour told The Wall Street Journal that the outcome of the merger between the two golf entities “likely won’t be known for at least a year.”

The two sides had their deadline to come to an agreement to merge extended to Dec. 31, 2023, but they never came to a resolution. Commissioner Jay Monahan, via CNBC, said that the goal for 2024 was to “reach agreements with Strategic Sports Group, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and DP World Tour.”

The sport of professional golf has been at odds since LIV came onto the scene a few years ago. A $3 billion investment would likely play a big role in helping unify the sport.

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