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Saudi Arabia to launch new sports investment group: report

The Financial Times report follows the merger between the Saudi-funded LIV Golf and the PGA Tour, but challenges remain as the kingdom eyes investment in golf, tennis and possibly American football.
Justin Rose of England and his caddy look on, on the 9th hole during Day Four of the Saudi International.

Saudi Arabia plans to launch a new sports investment group following its foray into US golf and speculation the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will invest in other US sports.

The Financial Times reported on Wednesday that the kingdom is planning the new multibillion-dollar investment company following its “power grab in golf and success in English football (soccer).” The company will be part of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund — the Public Investment Fund (PIF) — according to the outlet.

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia made a major push into US sports last month when its LIV Golf league announced a merger with the rival PGA Tour as well as the Dubai-based DP World Tour. The move shocked the sports world, but the details of the merger remain unclear. In late June, The Athletic reported that it had obtained a copy of the framework agreement between the entities. The future of LIV Golf as its own league and the amount the PIF will invest in the new entity, among other things, are not made clear in the document, according to the outlet.

The merger is also under investigation by the US Department of Justice for possible antitrust violations. Moreover, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will hold a hearing on the merger next Tuesday. Blumenthal invited PIF Governor Yasir al-Rumayyan, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman and PGA Commissioner Jay Monahan to testify. Blumenthal cited “risks associated with a foreign government's investment in American cultural institutions” in his letters to the three men.

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