(Bloomberg) -- The surprise merger between LIV Golf and the PGA Tour involved a collection of high profile advisers with links to Saudi Arabia and the PGA Tour.
LIV Golf was advised by banker Michael Klein and PCP Capital Partners’s Amanda Staveley, according to people familiar with the matter.
Saudi-backed LIV Golf and the PGA announced Tuesday that they would drop legal proceedings against each other and combine forces, along with the European Tour.
Klein, a banker known for his Saudi connections, had agreed to sell the investment banking business of M. Klein & Co. to Credit Suisse Group AG in February but the deal eventually collapsed after Credit Suisse agreed to be acquired by UBS Group AG.
Staveley, also known for her Middle East connections, is on the board of Newcastle United, the Premier League football team controlled by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. Yasir Al Rumayyan, the chairman of PIF and also a keen golfer, is also on the board of Newcastle United.
The media-advisory boutique Allen & Co. will work with the PGA to assist it with figuring out the value of the assets in the deal, which haven’t yet been set, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Allen, known for bringing together billionaires at its conference every summer in Sun Valley, Idaho, had reportedly advised the PGA during earlier discussions with another golf tournament, the Premier Golf League.
It’s also possible other banks get involved in helping assign valuations to the assets, which could be finalized later in the summer, the person added.
The PGA’s board also features dealmakers who were instrumental in brokering an introduction with LIV, the people said. PGA board members Jimmy Dunne, who’s vice chairman of investment bank Piper Sandler, and Edward Herlihy, a senior attorney at powerhouse M&A law firm Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, were involved in helping bring both sides together, according to the people.
--With assistance from Matthew Monks.
(Updates with more PGA details starting in sixth paragraph)
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.