The PGA Tour has entered into an agreement to merge with its Saudi-backed rival LIV Golf, putting an end to a pending legal trial and forging a larger golf conglomerate.
This groundbreaking merger will combine the commercial businesses and rights of both the PGA Tour and LIV Golf, including the European PGA Tour, into a new for-profit company. The merger is expected to be finalized within weeks and will require approval from the PGA Tour policy board. The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF), which backs LIV Golf, will invest billions in the newly combined company, although the exact terms of the deal have not been disclosed, nor has a new name for the company.
The two organizations had been embroiled in a series of antitrust lawsuits over the past year. These suits had been instigated by LIV Golf, which attracted high-profile players from the PGA Tour, causing disputes and tensions. However, both parties believe that this merger will be beneficial for the future of golf.
LIV Golf only recently began having its matches broadcasted in the US, after signing an exclusive deal with the CW Network. Critics of LIV Golf, which was launched in 2022 and had attracted players with top dollar offers, have accused PIF of using the league to divert attention away from Saudi Arabia’s history of human rights violations, and its alleged involvement in the September 2001 terrorist attack.
The new deal aims to grow these combined commercial businesses, drive greater fan engagement, and accelerate growth initiatives. It will also end all pending litigation between the involved parties and establish a fair and objective process for any players wishing to re-apply for membership with the PGA Tour or DP World Tour after the 2023 season.
The new company’s board of directors will overlook all golf-related commercial operations, businesses, and investments. PIF will initially be the exclusive investor in the new entity, alongside the PGA TOUR, LIV Golf, and the DP World Tour. The PGA TOUR will appoint a majority of the board and hold a majority voting interest.
Information for this briefing was found via the PGA Tour. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.