Even if you are not a professional golf fan (and most certainly if you are), you may have heard that there is a new golf league called LIV Golf.
As described on its website, LIV’s “new eight event series will take place from June – October 2022 across North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. It is an opportunity to reinvigorate golf through a structure that adds value to the entire sport while helping to bring new audiences to the game through a cutting-edge entertainment product.”
LIV Golf is financed by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (“PIF”), one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world, Because of this, as well as certain recent events in Saudi Arabia, LIV Golf has generated a substantial amount of controversy even though PIF also has made substantial investments in many companies including Cummins, FedEx, Pinterest, Uber, Visa and Walmart. (See here for PIF’s most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC).
Controversy aside, the question arises whether golfing legend Greg Norman (pictured – the CEO of LIV Golf Investments) as well as others associated with LIV are Saudi “foreign officials” under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act given how that key element of the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions has been interpreted by the DOJ and SEC.