TWG Global, the holding company of billionaire businessman Mark Walter, has secured a minority stake in tennis’ Billie Jean King Cup, the premier women’s national teams competition, after striking a partnership with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) governing body.

The agreement sees TWG Global acquire a 49% stake in a newly created commercial entity called Billie Jean King Cup Limited, with the new venture set up to sell sponsorship, broadcast, and other commercial rights to the competition alongside Billie Jean King Enterprises (BJKE), the investment vehicle focused on women’s sports founded by King and led by her wife Ilana Kloss.

The other 51% majority share in the company will be held by the ITF.

The ITF said the deal will see TWG invest a “substantial sum” into the Billie Jean King Cup and provide expertise and infrastructure for the marketing and promotion of the competition.

Kloss said: “We now have a significant opportunity to elevate the Billie Jean King Cup with this investment and a team of people working on this property every single day.

“This is a long-term partnership, and it allows us to build the event on multiple levels and make sure we have all of the elements in place so that it continues to be the pre-eminent global team competition not only in tennis but in women’s sports.”

TWG’s investment into the Billie Jean King Cup comes months after the Women’s Tennis Association agreed a similar partnership with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. It also follows the recent termination of the ITF’s 25-year, $3-billion agreement with Kosmos Tennis, the investment firm of former Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique, after only five years.

Walter is the controlling owner of Major League Baseball team the Los Angeles Dodgers and owner of WNBA basketball’s Los Angeles Sparks, as well as the co-general partner of English soccer giants Chelsea.

King and Kloss are also investors in the LA Dodgers, while the Mark Walter Group and BJKE recently bought out the Premier Hockey Federation women’s ice hockey league in the US.

Walter said: “TWG Global is thrilled to work with BJKE and the ITF to make tennis a more balanced game for the women who compete and to encourage more great female athletes to follow in the footsteps of Billie Jean to push the sport of tennis forward.”

ITF president David Haggerty added: “It is thrilling and fitting in its 60th year to announce a unique partnership for the Billie Jean King Cup formed by people who have worked in sports and tennis all their lives.

“This joint venture will be overseen and operated by leaders who bring vast knowledge, experience, and shared passion for the global development of our sport and who hold a remarkable track record in growing women’s tennis.”

The Billie Jean King Cup was rebranded from its previous incarnation of the Fed Cup in 2020 and this year’s finals tournament, hosted by Seville, Spain, marks the 60th anniversary of the inaugural event.

Last year, the finals were held in Glasgow, Scotland, with Switzerland crowned champions.

The nations involved in this year’s finals are Switzerland, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, and the US.

Global sponsors of the event include Gainbridge (title sponsor), Tory Burch, Microsoft, and Magellan.

Last year’s finals were broadcast in a record 196 countries, according to the ITF.