LG and TLT hit the right spot with snooker rights deal

LG and TLT have potted leading roles on promoter Barry Hearn’s acquisition of the commercial rights of the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA).

John Wood
John Wood

Corporate finance senior associate David Ponsford acted for Hearn’s Matchroom Sports, which acquired a 51 per cent stake in the sport’s governing body. Corporate finance head John Wood led the TLT team advising the WPBSA.

The deal will see the commercial aspects of the organisation transfer to a new subsidiary – World Snooker Limited (WSL). Players will own 25 per cent of the new entity while the remaining 24 per cent will be retained by other commercial partners.

Wood commented: “It’s not a huge deal in value but it could be a huge change for snooker. The players see this as a new dawn for them.”

The deal had looked to be under threat when John Davison launched a counter bid before Hearn’s proposals got approved at an AGM earlier this month.

Davison, a former Olympic shooter, is understood to have turned to Weil Gotshal & Manges for advice on his bid for the commercial rights.