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Reports: PGA Tour getting interest from investors besides Saudis

A memo sent to PGA Tour players Wednesday night said that while the tour works on finalizing an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, it is fielding calls from other interested investors as well, ESPN and Bloomberg reported Thursday.

ESPN attributed the memo to Jason Gore, a former PGA Tour player now serving as its senior vice president. Bloomberg reported that the message came in an email from PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan.

The message reportedly sought to assure players that the tour’s process for negotiating with the PIF and the DP World Tour “is working well.”

“We remain focused on reaching a Definitive Agreement with PIF and the DP World Tour, but not surprisingly, these negotiations have resulted in unsolicited outreach and proposals from a number of other interested investors,” the message said. “All of this activity reinforces the Tour’s strong position and our potential for growth.”

The PGA Tour, DP World Tour and PIF agreed to a “framework agreement” last June that would result in the merger of the traditional tours and the Saudi-funded LIV Golf circuit, an unexpected twist after LIV and the PGA had been at odds for months.

As part of the framework agreement, the parties agreed to form a new, for-profit body now being called PGA Tour Enterprises. The PGA Tour had previously operated as a nonprofit. PIF would invest billions into the entity and hold a minority stake.

The framework agreement is set to expire Dec. 31, however. The PGA Tour striking a more concrete deal with PIF chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan and other officials is far from finished, ESPN reported.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said at a Bloomberg conference Wednesday that his company submitted a bid seeking a stake in the PGA Tour. Emanuel said in June that Endeavor, the parent company of WWE, the UFC and powerful sports agencies like IMG, nearly invested $1 billion into LIV.

Fenway Sports Group have also been reported to show interest in investing. Fenway owns MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and the English Premier League’s Liverpool FC.

After a botched rollout of the news of the shock merger, the tour accepted player demands that included installing Tiger Woods as a new, sixth player director on the policy board. It also granted player directors the right to approve or decline any potential changes to the PGA Tour as part of framework agreement discussions.

–Field Level Media

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