British private equity giant CVC will get involved in a new tennis business that will combine professional tours for men and women
Britain’s largest private equity firm is preparing to participate in a new venture combining professional tennis tours for men and women.
CVC, which is also in talks to buy a stake in the Six Nations rugby championship, has earned a reputation as a ruthless operator from its time as the owner of Formula 1 (F1).
It is in advanced talks to invest in Tennis One as part of a £ 420 million deal that would transform the sport by combining the organizers of the men’s and women’s tours.
CVC is in advanced talks to invest in Tennis One as part of a £ 420 million deal
CVC is set to seek approval from ATP and WTA boards this month, Sky News reported.
Plans to reconcile men’s and women’s sports have stalled despite support from Roger Federer and Andy Murray, but executives believe a merger could accelerate the sport’s recovery from the pandemic.
Last year, most of the top tournaments were canceled or played behind closed doors, including Wimbledon, which was canceled for the first time since World War II.
The French Open, which comes to an end this week, has increased capacity to two-thirds of what it was before the pandemic. CVC’s involvement will raise concerns following criticism of its leadership in Formula 1 motorsport.
During his tenure, between 2006 and 2017, he was charged with “rape the sport” and “extracted as much money as possible”.
But CVC has now become a powerful force in world sport. It has a £ 200m stake in Premiership Rugby and is part of Pro14 and half of the RAC, the roadside assistance provider.
It tries to buy 14 percent of the shares in the Six Nations, which are being investigated by the UK competition watchdog.
CVC also holds the commercial rights of the International Volleyball Federation and is considering entering US basketball and women’s football in England.
ATP and CVC have been contacted for comment.