PGA Tour: Endeavor and Red Sox chiefs Fenway Sports eye investment as potential alternative to controversial Saudi Arabia deal
- The PGA agreed to a shock merger with Saudi’s sovereign wealth fund in June
- But Endeavor and FSG, along with businessman Henry Kravis, are also interested
- DailyMail.com provides all the latest international sports news
Endeavor Group Holdings and Fenway Sports Group are among US investors exploring a potential deal with the PGA Tour, according to reports.
Back in June, PGA officials agreed to a shock merger with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund – the country’s sovereign wealth – as well as the DP World Tour.
The stunning news came after months of controversy and back-and-forth between the two rivals as Saudi’s breakaway LIV Golf competition lured some of the best players in the game away from the traditional tour.
Talk of a potential agreement with LIV has raised fears among US lawmakers, who have voiced their concerns over the deal – which is still a long way from completion as the two parties iron out financial terms and regulatory issues.
Yet according to Bloomberg, Saudi could face competition from a number of American investors in their bid to buy shares in the PGA Tour.
Endeavor Group is reportedly among US investors exploring a potential deal with the PGA Tour
Fenway Sports Group, led by founder John W. Henry, is also understood to be interested
The PGA Tour agreed a shock merger with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund back in June
The stunning news came after Saudi’s breakaway LIV Golf competition lured some of the best players in the game, including Dustin Johnson (pictured), away from the traditional tour
Endeavor – the holding company which just sealed a $21million merger of the WWE and UFC – is said to be one of those groups eyeing investment into the historic golf tour.
Also interested is FSG, which owns both MLB’s Boston Red Sox and Premier League soccer team Liverpool.
Another potential suitor is KKR & Co. founder Henry Kravis, the global investment tycoon who has an estimated net worth of $10.5billion.
All of these investors are set to provide the PGA Tour with a possible alternative to a controversial deal with Saudi, although the report goes on to suggest they would also be open to partnering with PIF.
However, as things stand discussions are merely preliminary and no transactions are guaranteed.
‘Throughout 2023, the PGA Tour has demonstrated its strength, reach and value as an enterprise,’ a spokesman for Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida-based PGA said in a statement.
‘Our focus continues to be on finalizing an agreement with the Public Investment Fund and the DP World Tour, however, our negotiations have resulted in unsolicited interest from other investors.’
Under the terms of its proposed deal with the PGA, PIF will obtain the exclusive right to further invest in the new entity, which includes a right of first refusal on any invested capital.
Endeavor – the holding company which just sealed a $21million merger of the WWE and UFC – is said to be one of several US groups eyeing investment
Red Sox and Liverpool owners FSG could also rival Saudi’s PIF for the PGA Tour
Endeavor, with a market value of around $9.5billion, successfully took over the WWE and UFC this month after completing a historic merger through its new publicly listed company TKO Group Holdings.
FSG, led by founder John W. Henry, has a number of high-profile backers, including basketball star LeBron James.
The group already has ties to the PGA Tour, with one of its divisions involved in the Deutsche Bank Championship as well as the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
It is also an investor in Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy planned golf league TMRW Sports.
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