A major domino in the ongoing efforts to determine the future of professional golf has fallen.
One of the most high-profile bidders looking to potentially challenge Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as a significant financial partner for the PGA Tour is no longer in the running.
Endeavor’s offer to invest in the PGA Tour has been turned down.
“We’re not going to be an investor at any level,” Endeavor’s president and chief operating officer Mark Shapiro told Sportico. The PGA Tour confirmed his statement but wouldn’t comment further.
With the PIF seeking to invest at least $1 billion in a new company called PGA Tour Enterprises, several U.S.-based entities have recently emerged as potential alternative investors. Endeavor was among the list — believed to be at least eight companies deep — that also included Fenway Sports Group and Artcos Sports Partners.
Shapiro said Endeavor was looking to lead a group that could acquire a 10% stake in PGA Tour Enterprises. He didn’t say how much that stake would be valued at or how much Endeavor was willing to spend. An interesting wrinkle is that the investment would have come through the newly-formed TKO Holdings, which was created out of the $21 billion merger of UFC and WWE.
Beyond the investment, Endeavor — which already works with the PGA Tour for some commercial sales and tournament management — was hoping to expand that work and have the PGA Tour pay it $25 million per year.