Global investment holding company Tennor has agreed a deal with the Global Champions Tour (GCT) and Global Champions League (GCL) equestrian series, acquiring a stake held by US businessman, Frank McCourt.
Tennor, founded by German entrepreneur Lars Windhorst, will take over the shareholding of McCourt Global. Frank McCourt, former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise, acquired a 50-per-cent stake in the Global Champions Tour in June 2014.
McCourt, the owner of French Ligue 1 football side Marseille, struck the deal with Jan Tops, a four-time Olympian and a gold medal-winner at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, who founded the tour in 2006. Tops, president of the GCT and GCL, will continue to lead the strategic growth and development of the circuit, working closely with Tennor.
Windhorst is an investor in German Bundesliga side Schalke, having paid €125m ($137m) for a 37.5-per-cent stake. In November, he increased his stake in the club to 49.9 per cent.
The Global Champions Tour brings together the top show jumpers in the world, with the Champions League later being launched as a team-based series. Tennor’s investment comes with ambitious goals having been set to reach new markets and attract new audiences to show jumping in order to capitalise on the growing global popularity of the sport.
This follows a series of significant developments in recent years including the launch of the GCL team series, record prize money and expansion to China, the Americas, including New York, and Scandinavia.
Tops said: “At the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL we have focused to be at the highest level and to ensure a strong and sustainable future for show jumping and all its stakeholders. I’d like to thank Frank McCourt, together we launched a very successful GCL. I look forward to working in partnership with Tennor to continue that development and to further expand GCL in new markets and to new audiences in the digital era.”
Windhorst added: “I look forward to working with Jan Tops to help build on the success of this fantastic global sports property. Jan has been the pioneering figure at the top level of show jumping for many years and I am delighted that Tennor will be part of that continuing journey and the exciting opportunities ahead.”