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PGA Tour seals $3 billion investment with Fenway-led investment group


The PGA Tour has secured a $3 billion investment deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG), positioning players to become equity owners in the newly established PGA Tour Enterprises with access to over $1.5 billion.

The launch of PGA Tour Enterprises, with SSG as a minority partner, follows closely on the heels of the PGA Tour’s strategic collaboration with the Saudi financiers of LIV Golf in a commercial venture. This collaboration catalysed private equity groups’ interest in joining forces with the tour.

PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan shared details of the finalised deal, highlighting its significance during a conference call with players. The agreement is expected to be officially announced soon.

While negotiations with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia are ongoing, the partnership with SSG allows for potential co-investment from PIF – pending regulatory approval – further solidifying the tour’s financial stability and growth prospects.

“By making PGA Tour members owners of their league, we strengthen the collective investment of our players in the success of the PGA Tour,” said Monahan, who will assume the role of CEO of PGA Tour Enterprises.

The innovative equity program introduced by PGA Tour Enterprises will provide approximately 200 players with initial grants, with recurring grants planned for future players starting next year. Although specific details of the equity ownership program are yet to be disclosed, the grants will be based on players’ career achievements, recent performances and PGA Tour status, vesting over time.

SSG, spearheaded by Fenway Sports Group and featuring prominent sports franchise owners such as Arthur Blank, Steven Cohen and John Henry, is injecting an initial $1.5 billion into PGA Tour Enterprises. The focus will be on optimising revenue streams for players and enhancing golf’s global reach.

The PGA Tour board, including high-profile players Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay and Jordan Spieth, unanimously approved the deal.

In a joint statement, they said:

“It was incredibly important for us to create opportunities for the players of today and in the future to be more invested in their organisation, both financially and strategically.

“This not only further strengthens the tour from a business perspective, but it also encourages the players to be fully invested in continuing to deliver – and further enhance – the best in golf to our fans.

“We are looking forward to this next chapter and an even brighter future.”

The tour is also making progress in negotiations with the Saudi national wealth fund, aiming for future investments and collaboration. The original framework agreement included Yasir Al-Rumayyan, the PIF governor, as chairman of PGA Tour Enterprises – although the impact of the partnership with SSG on this arrangement remains unclear.

Despite the European tour’s involvement in the framework agreement, discussions are ongoing regarding potential collaboration with the PGA Tour for mutual benefit.

Key to the deal was resolving lawsuits related to LIV Golf, a rival league that has attracted prominent players like Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, and Australia’s Cameron Smith.

With negotiations nearing the original deadline, LIV Golf made more significant signings, including a $1 billion bombshell to lure 2023 Masters winner Jon Rahm.

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