Kosmos says it cannot renegotiate the Davis Cup business model with the ITF

MELBOURNE, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Gerard Pique’s Kosmos Tennis said on Friday that the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) decision to end its Davis Cup partnership with a private equity group followed a failed attempt to renegotiate the business model.

The ITF said on Thursday that the partnership ends five years into a 25-year, $3 billion deal that was unveiled in 2018 amid much fanfare around promises to deliver “long-term benefits” for fans and all stakeholders of the game.

The figure means Kosmos has pledged to invest $120 million a year, which was “significantly reduced” during the COVID pandemic and fluctuated in subsequent years, before recently being raised again, a company spokesman told Reuters.

“In response to the ITF’s public statement yesterday, it appears that Kosmos Tennis and the ITF have not been able to reach an agreement on the renegotiation of the business model, as well as the current and future compensation requested by the ITF,” the Kosmos spokesperson added.

“This fee, which was significantly reduced during the pandemic, has varied over the years of cooperation, and has recently been increased again.

“Kosmos has paid the 2022 fee in full. The prize money will be paid in time when the nations’ demands are met.”

The ITF, the sport’s governing body, said it has the financial conditions and will stage the 2023 Davis Cup qualifiers and finals as scheduled, with the Final 8 to be held in Malaga, Spain, in November.

The deal with Kosmos — led by former Barcelona footballer Pique — was accompanied by an overhaul of the men’s team competition founded in 1900, with regular home and away games played on several weekends a year.

From 2019, as part of the new format, there is one home and away game after which 18 teams compete in one city for a week-long season finale.

After the 2020 edition was postponed due to COVID-19, the 2021 final was held over 11 days in three cities — Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck.

Another tweak to the format last year saw teams compete in a group stage in September, with the top eight progressing to the final.

Kosmos will continue to be associated with tennis, and recently added Borna Ćorić, Elina Svitolina and Andrej Rubljov to the list of represented athletes.

A spokesperson said the company will continue with other sports projects.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Melbourne Editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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