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PGA Tour and LIV Golf in Active Talks to Finalize Merger

 |  June 6, 2024

The PGA Tour and LIV Golf, backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), are in the midst of active discussions to finalize their merger, according to sources familiar with the matter, a year after the two entities first announced their agreement in principle to combine forces.

The ongoing negotiations involve a newly established seven-person PGA Tour transaction committee. This committee features figures such as professional golfers Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, as well as John Henry, the founder of Fenway Sports Group. Alongside representatives from the PIF, the committee has been holding meetings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday over the past month, both in person and remotely.

This Friday, the group is set to meet in person in New York, with McIlroy participating remotely, per CNBC.

A PGA Tour representative declined to comment on the ongoing merger talks, while representatives for LIV Golf and the PIF did not respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.

The discussions mark a significant development since the announcement made by PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan and Saudi PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan on CNBC last June. The announcement followed a period of intense legal disputes between the two competing golf leagues.

Initially, the proposed merger was to be completed by December 31, 2023. However, the deadline has been extended, and the PGA Tour has since agreed to allow U.S. investors to join the deal.

Although the merger has yet to be finalized, the sides have exchanged term sheets and have largely agreed on the financial aspects. The deal is expected to involve the Saudis and a consortium of investors contributing an additional $1.5 billion each to the PGA Tour. This structure mirrors their previous arrangement with the Strategic Sports Group (SSG), another consortium of investors. The current focus of the discussions is on product-related decisions, including players, schedules, tournaments, and media rights.

Source: CNBC