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CVC Capital Invests $150M in Women’s Tennis Association

  • CVC Capital invested $150 million for a 20% stake in a new commercial vehicle.
  • The commercial arm will reportedly be called WTA Ventures LLC.
Two WTA players celebrate their doubles win with a high-five.
Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like CVC Capital loves the Women’s Tennis Association.

The WTA announced Tuesday that the private equity company — which has more than $145 billion in assets under management — closed its $150 million investment for a 20% stake in WTA Ventures LLC, a new commercial vehicle for the organization, per the Associated Press.

The entity, which is separate from WTA Inc., will manage the sport’s commercial activities including media rights, sponsorship, licensing, NFTs, gaming, and data.

As part of the deal, CVC will be the WTA’s commercial partner, focusing on “providing fans with more access to the sport, investing behind the tour brands, building player and tournament profiles, and investing in digital platforms and commercial capabilities.” 

“The ambition is to materially grow women’s professional tennis. Grow our profile, its value, the prize money,” said Steve Simon, WTA chairman and CEO. “This arrangement is certainly going to provide for us to create more investment opportunity to our players and tournaments.”

Simon said the deal “doesn’t prohibit, in any way, from us continuing to have discussions with the ATP (men’s tennis tour) and potentially doing a bigger deal with the ATP involved.”

The WTA’s tournament ban in China is still in place, but Simon added that a decision on where the WTA Finals will be hosted will come by the end of the month.