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PGA Tour and LIV Golf 'exchange sheets for £1.2bn deal' and Rory McIlroy to be gobsmacked

Talks between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s public wealth fund are reportedly still alive despite a series of setbacks in negotiations over a merger. Nearly a year has passed since the PGA and LIV Golf agreed to join forces and Rory McIlroy felt compelled to say his confidence in an agreement was at an all-time low last week.

However, it has now been claimed that a blockbuster £1.2billion deal is very much on the cards. Reports in the USA claim that the term sheets were exchanged in the last few days.

According to the New York Times, the agreement would see the Saudi Public Investment Fund – which bankrolls LIV Golf – inject £1.2bn into the PGA’s for-profit arm.

The report adds that the Saudis would ultimately pay just over £2bn to PGA Tour Enterprises. If that were to be the case, the PGA Tour would retain majority control of PGA Tour Enterprises.

It comes a week after McIlroy revealed that his confidence in a deal was very low. He was reacting to news that Jimmy Dunne – reportedly a key figure in the policy board – had quit his role.

Dunne is an ally of McIlroy, who also quit the policy board earlier this year, and the Irish golfer believed his friend played an important role in discussions.

“Honestly, I think it’s a huge loss for the PGA Tour if they are trying to get the deal done with PIF and unify the game. Jimmy was basically the relationship – the sort of conduit between the PGA Tour and PIF,” McIlroy said.

“It’s been really unfortunate that he hasn’t been involved for the past few months and part of the reason I think everything is stalling at the minute is because of that. It’s really disappointing and I think the tour is in a worse place because of it.

“We’ll see where it goes from here, we’ll see what happens, but I would say my confidence level on getting something done before last week was as low as it had been, and with this news of Jimmy resigning and knowing the relationship he has with the other side and how much warmth there is from the other side, it’s concerning.”

McIlroy, who stayed on the PGA Tour while several stars defected to LIV Golf, remains on a ‘transaction committee’ of active players involved in negotiations with PIF.


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