HomeCyclingSaudi-backed SRJ Sports Investments in talks for new cycling league

Saudi-backed SRJ Sports Investments in talks for new cycling league

Saudi-backed SRJ Sports Investments in talks for new cycling league

Saudi Arabia’s SRJ Sports Investments is reportedly in exclusive negotiations to invest approximately €250 million (US$268.8 million) in a new cycling league, according to Reuters.

SRJ, backed by the Gulf state’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has emerged as the preferred investor, outbidding competitors like private equity fund CVC Capital Partners in a recent auction. Negotiations are now focused on finalising the commercial aspects of the deal over the next two months.

If successful, SRJ will join forces with leading European cycling teams such as Ineos Grenadiers and Visma-Lease a Bike to launch the new competition. The league aims to establish a more sustainable circuit for the sport while increasing teams’ share of race revenues.

Reports from October revealed that Ernst & Young, a professional services firm, was soliciting interest from potential investors for the competition, which is expected to feature a mix of established and new races. Many teams have expressed concerns about the disproportionate distribution of profits from cycling’s major races to event organisers.

The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), responsible for organising events like the Tour de France and La Vuelta, and RCS Sports, which oversees the Giro D’Italia, are not currently involved in the project.

Visma-Lease a Bike, one of the potential partners for the new league, acknowledged the exploration of this idea, emphasising the ongoing pursuit of sustainable business models for cycling’s future.

SRJ’s CEO, Danny Townsend, previously outlined the fund’s aspiration to be transformative in its investments. Their selection criteria prioritise sports with untapped potential and a significant cultural resonance with the Saudi population.

SRJ Sports Investments made headlines earlier with its initial investment in the Professional Fighters League (PFL), injecting over US$100 million into the mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation.

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