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February 29, 2024

King & Spalding Advises Team Owners in Combination of Major League Pickleball and Professional Pickleball Association

On February 29, 2024, the U.S.’s two largest professional pickleball tours, Major League Pickleball and the Professional Pickleball Association, closed their previously announced transaction, which will result in the two professional tours combining. The consolidation of the two entities is backed by a US$75 million investment from private equity firm SC Holdings, D.C. Pickleball Team owner Al Tylis, PPA Tour owners Tom Dundon and the Pardoe Family, and several existing MLP team owners, will combine the leading individual bracket-style tour and team-based professional pickleball formats, with the PPA Tour and MLP retaining their distinct brands. More than 150 professional pickleball players - including the top ranked players in the world - have signed multi-year contracts with the new entity, with many of them set to participate in an expanded calendar that combines individual (PPA Tour) and team (MLP) events. Major League Pickleball is the preeminent team-based professional pickleball league, featuring over 100 of the best athletes across 24 teams, a unique coed format, easy to understand scoring, iconic team owners, and the most electric live events and fan experience in the sport. Founded in 2019, the Professional Pickleball Association organizes and conducts tournaments at world-class facilities across the country, establishes player rankings, and showcases the world's best pickleball week in and week out. The King & Spalding corporate team advising the team owners on the business combination was led by Tim FitzSimons, Hillyer Jennings and Austin Whan.