Sources: PGA Tour finalizes $3 billion deal as LIV talks continue
The PGA Tour has finalized an agreement with Strategy Sports Group, a consortium of billionaire sports team owners, to pump at least $3 billion into a new for-profit entity, PGA Tour Enterprises, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan is expected to inform the PGA Tour, PGA Tour members and Korn Ferry Tour members about the deal in a conference call Wednesday morning.
The conference call, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. ET, will be listening only. Player Relations staff told Tour members in a memo that there will be several meetings and contact points over the next few weeks to answer their questions and provide additional details.
ESPN reported on December 15 that a deal with Strategic Sports Group (SSG) was imminent. The SSG group includes Tom Werner, John Henry (Boston Red Sox), Mark Attanasio (Milwaukee Brewers), Arthur Blank (Atlanta Falcons), Wyke Groesbeck (Boston Celtics), Steve Cohen (New York Mets), Tom Ricketts (Chicago Cubs). And others.
The Strategic Sports Group will be a minority investor in PGA Tour Enterprises, and the PGA Tour will remain the majority shareholder.
Meanwhile, the PGA Tour continues negotiations to finalize an agreement with the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) and the DP World Tour, which will likely inject billions of additional dollars into PGA Tour Enterprises, according to sources.
The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF signed a framework agreement on June 6 to merge their business assets, including the LIV Golf League. The agreement had a deadline of December 31, which was extended as the two sides continued to hammer out final details. Monahan and Public Investment Fund Governor Yasser Al-Rumayyan reportedly met in Saudi Arabia last week.
The PGA Tour Policy Board held meetings ahead of this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am event in California. The PGA Tour Players Advisory Council is scheduled to meet via conference call on Wednesday morning. Rory McIlroy, who resigned from the PGA Tour Policy Board in November, told reporters Tuesday that a deal with SSG appears imminent.
“I know they were supposed to vote on it Sunday night, and there was a delay,” McIlroy said Tuesday. “They were supposed to vote on it last night, and there was a delay. I feel like this could have been over months ago. I think for all of our good, the sooner we get out of the woods and have a way forward, the better.”