The proposed

  • The proposed merger remains under investigation by the US Justice Department
  • PGA Tour golfers currently advised by Raine Group in negotiations

The proposed merger between the PGA Tour, LIV Golf and DP World Tour is expected to be delayed beyond the deal’s deadline of 31st December, according to Bloomberg.

The agreement, which was first announced in June, is currently under investigation by the US Justice Department over antitrust concerns. The tours are now considering their next steps in response to the probe, which poses as a barrier to the deal going forward on its envisioned timeline.

Bloomberg reports that PGA Tour golfers are also involved in negotiations around the merger, with the goal of acquiring a stake in the newly formed commercial entity. The new company was set to combine the commercial businesses of all three golf tours, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) bankrolling the body and having first refusal on any future investment from other parties.

The players are said to be advised by investment bank Raine Group, with active discussions not thought to be over compensation for those who turned down lucrative offers to switch to LIV Golf.

Other factors that could hold up a deal include the financial details of the PIF’s investment, as well as the logistics of working through each tour’s broadcast contracts and brand sponsorships.

The outlet adds that a possible push back of the merger’s deadline would lead to both LIV and the PGA Tour continuing on their own separate tour schedules next year until a finalised agreement is reached, with no deadline extension having yet been struck.

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SportsPro says…

As well as the US Justice Department’s probe, the PGA Tour’s proposed merger with LIV Golf and DP World Tour has also come under scrutiny from a Senate sub-committee, highlighting the intensity of the attention piled onto the controversial merger.

No merger however can really proceed without the support of those playing on the PGA Tour, many who have spurned LIV Golf’s riches.

With Tiger Woods now on the circuit’s board of directors alongside the likes of Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay, it appears the players are determined to avoid being blindsided again by those involved in negotiations. An equity stake would certainly make the merger more appealing for the golfers, with reaction having been mixed to June’s announcement.

The PGA Tour has also reportedly gained investment interest from the likes of agency giant Endeavor, Fenway Sports Group and private equity firm Arctos Sports Partners. While the merger is said to remain the tour’s first priority, it now has more time to weigh up other options and form alternative plans should the arrangement fall through.

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