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CVC eyes investment in WTA, ATP merger

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CVC Capital Partners is in detailed negotiations about investing in a professional tennis tour that would combine the men’s and women’s tours under a single commercial entity.

First reported by Sky News, the report states that the former owner of Formula One motor racing is in talks about a $600 million deal that would accomplish a long-held ambition of executives throughout the sport.

The move would also help to accelerate the sport’s recovery from the pandemic, as last year’s Wimbledon tournament was canceled and the French Open, which is currently ongoing, is operating at a limited capacity.

CVC is reportedly looking for approval from the ATP and WTA boards later this month.

Supposedly, the plans have been in discussion for several months and would see the ATP and WTA’s commercial activities unified under the name OneTennis. The CVC would hold a minority interest, likely targeting greater investments in tournaments and player prize money, improved broadcast production capabilities and an enhanced global digital platform for tennis fans. 

The firm’s most recent sports deal was the purchase of a stake in the International Volleyball Federation’s commercial rights. They are also in negotiations to acquire a portion of the rights to Six Nations Rugby championship.