CVC Capital Partners is negotiating a $600 million deal that will integrate men’s and women’s professional tennis schedules and allow the private equity firm to buy the sport.
According to people familiar with the matter, under these proposals, CVC will hold a 15% stake in One Tennis, a new entity designed to manage the media and data rights of the two tournaments, valued at US$4 billion.
The Tennis Professionals Association and the Women’s Tennis Association are the governing bodies of the tour and will remain responsible for sports decision-making as independent entities.
But they will coordinate the schedule so that male and female players can participate in more of the same events, just like they did in the “major tournaments”-four elite events including Wimbledon and the US Open. A separate management agency.
If agreed, this transaction will mark CVC’s first foray into the tennis field. CVC is a Luxembourg-based private equity group that has been promoting sports transactions worldwide, including football, rugby, volleyball, basketball and racing.
The company once owned Formula One and MotoGP, and acquired Six Nations, Premier League Rugby and Professional 14 Rugby game And the International Volleyball Federation. It has negotiated investments in the Italian Football League, the German Bundesliga and the San Antonio Spurs basketball team.
CVC’s recent strategy is to try to obtain a minority stake in leading events, with a view to gaining enough influence to take over the commercial operations of sports leagues and tournaments, and to bundle media broadcast rights to sell them all over the world.
CVC declined to comment.
The ATP Tour consists of 64 games in 31 countries/regions, while the WTA, founded by Billie Jean King in 1973, has more than 50 games.
According to the proposed transaction, One Tennis will manage the broadcast rights of the games of the two institutions and the right to sell data to gambling companies.
ATP and IMG signed a contract on betting data, and WTA and Stats Perform have a transaction, and if the transaction continues, both can be supervised by One Tennis.
A person familiar with the matter said that Mark Webster, CEO of ATP Media, the existing sales and broadcasting arm of ATP, has lined up to run One Tennis, and ATP Media has become part of the new entity.
One of the people familiar with the matter said that an agreement may be reached as soon as this month. They added that its goal is to create an entity that can eventually bid for media and data rights to run Grand Slam tournaments.
WTA and ATP stated that they are “always looking for ways to integrate the sport more closely in order to provide a better experience for fans, players and tournaments”. They added: “Through cooperation, we believe that there may be major opportunities in the future. We are exploring all options. These are the preliminary stages and we will evaluate any opportunities in close consultation with our respective stakeholders.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, both organizations were forced to suspend their games last year.The news of the talks was first reported by Sky News
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi told the Financial Times last year that he supports Combine ATP and WTARoger Federer and Billie Jan King, who have a record of 20 Grand Slam titles, also publicly expressed their support for the merger.