Drive for show. Merge for dough!
The Saudi-backed fund behind LIV Golf will be taking a roughly 20% stake in the union with the PGA Tour and Europe’s DP World Tour — and based upon current valuations could fork over about $2 billion, according to a source with knowledge of .
The Saudi’s Public Investment Fund will be a minority investor in the new non-profit entity, and the PGA Tour will maintain control of the new board, multiple sources pointed out to The Post.
Investment Bank Allen & Co. will determine the value of the as yet unnamed business venture by the end of the year when the deal is expected to be completed, the insider said.
The source pegged the currently value to be in the $10 billion range, but said it is too early to know if that will change.
PGA and LIV spokespeople did not return calls.
The non-profit PGA Tour generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2022, according to Golf Digest.
The sports league made $660 million from tournament revenue, $634 million from domestic and international media rights, $142 million from Tournament Players Clubs, $65 million from corporate licensing and $21 million from investments, the outlet reported in January as the 2023 season teed off.
Last year, the PGA Tour forged an alliance with DP World Tour and invested $85 million for a 15% stake in European Tour Productions, which broadcasts the events, valuing the company at roughly $550 million, according to the Perfect Putt.
While major details of Tuesday’s stunning deal remain to be worked out, the PGA Tour will have a majority of directors on the board that runs the new entity — with current PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan remaining in his current role.
Everything to know about the PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger
PGA Tour and LIV Golf are ending a war — by joining forces.
The two golf leagues, along with the European DP World Tour, are merging into one company after a period of fierce rivalry, one where LIV Golf defectors were banned from competing on the Tour.
LIV, financed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund and led by legendary golfer Greg Norman, lured some of the top names in golf last year with reported nine-figure contracts, including Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.
Other huge golf names, however, like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, stayed loyal to the Tour, despite being offered a massive amount of money.
Follow The Post’s coverage of the PGA Tour-LIV Golf merger
Norman Woods turned down a payday in the range of $700 million-$800 million to stick with the PGA Tour.
With the merger, the Saudi-backed LIV and the Tour are ending an antitrust battle and agreed to end all litigation between the two sides.
“After two years of disruption and distraction, this is a historic day for the game we all know and love,” PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “This transformational partnership recognizes the immeasurable strength of the PGA TOUR’s history, legacy and pro-competitive model.”
The governor of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Yasir Al-Rumayyan, will join the PGA Tour board of directors and serve as chairman of the commercial venture.
Monahan said the deal came together over the last seven weeks, with PGA Tour board member Jimmy Dunne responsible for bringing Monahan and Al-Rumayyan to the table.
The experienced investment banker — one of the founders of Sandler O’Neill & Partners before Sandler sold itself to Piper in 2020 — will serve on the board of the commercial venture along with Ed Herlihy, chairman of the PGA Tour’s board.
One of Dunne’s most notable deals was advising TD Ameritrade in its merger with Charles Schwab, according to his bio.
Dunne’s job when he joined the PGA board last year was to prevent more PGA golfers from jumping to the rebel league, according to Golf Digest.
But the previously outspoken critic of LIV Golf was spotted chatting up high-profile golfers from both tours at the Michael Jordan-owned exclusive Grove XX111 Golf Course in Hobe Sound, Fla., in recent weeks, an industry source close to top players on the LIV Tour told The Post.
“LIV’s Dustin Johnson and the PGA’s Justin Thomas are all at the Grove together,” the source said.