PGA Tour-LIV Golf Deal Bolsters Saudi Arabia’s Global Ambitions

The shocking news that the PGA Tour is planning to partner with LIV Golf, a new circuit that has been in contention for the past year, shook the normally quiet golf world. But the impact isn’t just limited to the putting green and the 9 iron.

Saudi Arabia, an LIV backer, has invested billions of dollars in expanding its presence across professional sports and beyond, and is now a big influence on golf. It’s another sign of how Saudi Arabia seeks to assert its role as a geopolitical and global business powerhouse.

Confidential negotiations over a jet setup led to a golf deal. Even while the PGA Tour was in a heated public feud with the LIV, the two held secret meetings on two continents to reach a so-called “framework agreement.” PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said yesterday that “it’s not right or sustainable to have this kind of tension in our sport.”

Distinguished Advisor I worked on both sides. The PGA side also included Ed Herlihy of elite law firm Wachtel and Jimmy Dunne of investment bank Piper Sandler, both of whom are tour directors, as well as investment bank Allen & Company. The Saudi side also included banker Michael Klein, a longtime Saudi adviser.

This is just the latest sign of Saudi power expansionThat’s because the country is spending billions of dollars abroad in an effort to diversify its economy away from oil. (Sceptics claim it is trying to wipe its reputation and prop up oil prices.) Secretary of State Antony Brinken Meeting with Mr. Muhammad bin Salmanthe crown prince of the kingdom this week, to mend strained relations.

Meanwhile, business people say Saudi Arabia has become a force to be reckoned with across M&A. and investment landscape. Private equity and venture capital firms also flocked to the kingdomEspecially since it is becoming difficult to raise funds from China, we would like to use oil-rich coffers as new capital (more on this later).

Sports is an area in which Saudi Arabia has achieved a newfound fame. The Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, whose president Yasir Al-Rumayyan will become chairman of the PGA-LIV consolidation body, has acquired English Premier League football club Newcastle United, which also has Formula 1 racing, boxing and WWE professional wrestling. There is a relationship. Just yesterday, the Saudi Football League called up one of the world’s top players, Karim Benzema, for a world-class competition.

In the wake of the Golf merger, business partners could see Saudi Arabia aiming for even bigger goals, including the NBA team, which recently changed its ownership rules to allow sovereign wealth funds to invest, and another American sports league. There is speculation that it may be possible.

However, the golf contract is not yet finished. PGA officials met with the players, many of whom refused large payments from LIV to continue competing. Antitrust agents were already scrutinizing whether the PGA Tour was hurting the golf job market. (Their tactics against the LIV contributed to the incident, but were not central to it.)

It’s also unclear whether the deal will require approval from merger regulators or CFIUS, an interagency panel that reviews deals for national security concerns.

I have more questions about future developments.

  • Can I get a sponsor?Brands love the PGA Tour General lack of political controversyHowever, the entry of Saudi Arabia could change the situation. “The PGA and Monaghan have spent billions of dollars cleaning up Saudi Arabia’s reputation, and it looks like it’s just more Saudi Shirah,” said 9/11 Families United’s Terry Strada.

  • What about golf TV rights? LIV only reached a deal while the PGA signed him to multi-billion dollar deals with CBS and NBC. Dealing with CW networks after a bigger potential partner Reportedly said no.

  • Will US regulators move to shield other US sports franchises, perhaps some of the country’s most important soft power assets, from Saudi investments?

A new report looks at the health of the global economy. The World Bank called it “volatility” and warned of slowing growth. OECD He expressed modest optimism and foresaw a “long road to recovery”.

Chinese exports plummeted. Worse-than-expected monthly trade data out of Beijing today hinted at the country’s coronavirus-related recovery was stagnant. The report, which initially suggested a fall in oil and commodity prices, was released following remarks by Secretary of State Anthony Brinken. Reportedly planning to travel He called on China to ease tensions between the two trading powers.

The top maker of the trade returns to the law. Rob Kindler, one of the top M.&A on Wall Street. The bankers are set to move from Morgan Stanley to law firm Paul Weiss this fall. For Kindler, who started his career at Cravath and then turned to investment banking, it’s a return to basics and a chance to reunite with his protégé Scott Barshay.

Tucker Carlson’s new show debuts on Twitter. The former Fox News host posted a 10-minute video on social networks that featured no guests and was aimed at mainstream media and familiar targets such as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.As of 8am ET, his post is nearly complete 59 million views.

Sequoia surprised the investment world yesterday by announcing that it would split into three businesses, one focused on the US and Europe, one focused on China, and one that would invest in India and Southeast Asia.

The well-known venture capital firm stressed that this was a logical step as managing its overseas operations had become complicated. But the move is also symbolic of an industry struggling to cope with increasingly difficult U.S.-China relations.

Sequoia said the move came after years of debate. “The scope of our investment activity in China and India has changed significantly since we first launched these businesses,” Sequoia managing partner Roelof Botha told Dealbook. It added that it was causing “brand confusion” for consumers. Still, the model worked well for many years and was widely viewed as the model for the US-China investment alliance.

Geopolitics make the situation even more difficult for investors. Washington imposed Strict Restrictions on Sensitive Chinese Tech Fields Forces inventors to make adjustments. the head of Goldman Sachs’ Private Equity Business in Asia It has reportedly stopped seeking investment from the United States.And that includes huge global funds APGMoreDutch asset managers, Canada’s two largest pension funds and Singapore’s GIC have slowed investments in China.

Sequoia did well in China. The business was founded and managed by Neil Shenwas founded in 2005 as a division of Sequoia Capital, one of the nation’s most connected investors. Early winners included his, an e-commerce company, and Meituan, a food delivery platform.chinese unit It just recently raised billions of dollars, just like it did last yearincluding from US investors.

TikTok could play a role in this move. Sequoia has a large stake in the video app’s Chinese parent company ByteDance. Sequoia may be taking the view that Chinese regulators will further greenlight ByteDance’s eventual listing in Hong Kong if the US group isn’t listed as one of its biggest investors. According to Jessica Lessin of The Information,. (Sequoia China will be rebranded to HongShan.)

Could other big investors follow suit? Well-funded venture capital and private equity firms in China include Blackstone, Carlyle, Bain Capital, Silverlake, General Atlantic (another ByteDance investor) and Warburg Pincus.similarly designed split You can also work for other partner-based companies.

Surveillance is expected to intensify further. The White House is considering tightening restrictions on investments in China, including in areas such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

The SEC launched a violent attack A legal crackdown has been launched against the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, citing listed exchange Coinbase and the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance as violating securities laws.The clash seemed inevitable for months, but Coinbase vows to fight authorities in court for the benefit of the industry.

The SEC announced yesterday that Coinbase failed to register as a broker. The company on Monday accused Binance of mishandling customer funds and lying to regulators about its operations. In addition to Coinbase’s legal troubles, securities regulators in 10 states, including California and New Jersey, have filed their own lawsuits to stop the exchange from selling unregistered securities to investors in those states. .

The stakes are huge. Description of the two exchanges Half of the world’s digital asset trading; USA accounted for more 80% of Coinbase earnings last year. Investors are nervous. Coinbase’s stock price has fallen 18% over the past two days, with some of the tokens the SEC has sued (Cardano, Polygon, and Solana) initially declining in value. But Bitcoin Rebounded.

“We have been anticipating this for a long time,” Coinbase Chief Legal Officer Paul Grewal told DealBook. Still, the accusation came as a surprise. He received the news yesterday morning ahead of congressional testimony seeking regulatory clarification.

Coinbase Leads Lobbying for New Legislation To cover the multi-trillion dollar market of digital asset trading. The company filed a new rule with the SEC last year, and in April it sued the SEC to expedite the matter. Yesterday, a federal court gave the agency seven days to respond to a petition to draft new cryptocurrency rules.

The SEC claims that existing securities rules also cover cryptocurrencies, adding that Coinbase is ignoring the rules. Coinbase believes the courts are the best place to settle matters. “As of today, it’s no longer just what the SEC says,” Grewal added.

Conservative lawmakers again after yesterday’s lawsuit accused the agency Being high-handed in dealings with cryptocurrency companies. But with Congress split, few have any hopes for a legislative breakthrough.

Experts said the two forced executions were no coincidence. Brett Redfern, former director of the SEC division and a temporary Coinbase executive in 2021, said, “It makes no sense to pursue Coinbase while continuing to allow Binance to operate unscathed.” rice field.

Information of sale

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said the company behind ChatGPT: plan to stay private As such, stock market investors may make decisions that may “seem very strange.” (Bloomberg)

  • The Delaware Supreme Court upheld Tesla’s ruling. Paid a fair price to Solar CityEven though Elon Musk controls both companies. (Reuters)


  • Hard-line Republicans took over the House floor yesterday in retaliation for Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to craft the debt ceiling deal. (New York Times)

  • Merck sued the government over a federal law that allowed Medicare to negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. (New York Times)

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