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Kosmos says it could not renegotiate Davis Cup business model …

Kosmos says it could not renegotiate Davis Cup business model …

[1/3] Tennis – Davis Cup – Group B – Spain v Republic of Korea – Pavello Municipal Font de Sant Lluis, Valencia, Spain – September 18, 2022 Spain’s Marcel Granollers and Pedro Martinez in action during their doubles match against Republic of Korea’s Nam Ji-sung and Song Min-kyu REUTERS/Pablo Morano

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 the private investment group followed an unsuccessful attempt to renegotiate the business model.

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

That figure meant Kosmos promised to invest $120 million per year, which was “significantly reduced” during the COVID pandemic and varied in subsequent years, before being raised again recently, a company spokesperson told Reuters.

“In response to the ITF’s public statement yesterday, it appears that Kosmos Tennis and the ITF were unable to reach an agreement to renegotiate the business model, as well as the current and future fee requested by the ITF,” the Kosmos spokesperson added.

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

“Kosmos has paid in full the 2022 fee. Prize money shall be paid in due time when requirements from nations are met.”

The ITF, the sport’s governing body, said it had financial contingencies in place and would operate the 2023 Davis Cup qualifiers and finals as scheduled, with the Final 8 taking place in Malaga, Spain, in November.

The deal with Kosmos — which is fronted by former Barcelona soccer player Pique — was followed by an overhaul of the men’s team competition founded in 1900, with the usual home-and-away ties played over a few weekends in the year scrapped.

Since 2019, as part of a new format, there has been one home-and-away round of ties followed by 18-teams competing in one city for a week-long finale to the season.

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

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

Kosmos will continue to be linked to tennis, having recently added Borna Coric, Elina Svitolina and Andrey Rublev to its list of represented athletes.

The spokesperson said the company would continue with its other sporting projects.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Melbourne
Editing by Toby Davis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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