Rory McIlroy Settles Legal Dispute With Horizon Sports for Reported $30 Million

Wednesday February 4th, 2015

Rory McIlroy has settled his bitter legal dispute with his former management company Horizon Sports.

There are conflicting reports over the amount that McIlroy will pay Horizon, but an Irish Times story puts the figure at "more than $25 million and possibly up to $30 million, plus costs." Legal fees have been estimated to be around $4 million.

McIlroy and Horizon released a joint statement outside the Dublin courtroom: “The legal dispute between the two has been settled to the satisfaction of both parties who wish each other well for the future. The parties will be making no further comment.”

McIlroy had arrived in court Tuesday for what was expected to be an 8-week legal battle, but lawyers for both sides immediately asked for an adjournment and began private negotiations. The world number one, who just last week described the wrangle as "a very tedious and nasty process," remained with his legal team late into the night until a settlement was agreed. McIlroy was not present in court Wednesday. This morning he posted an Instagram photo from inside his private jet at Dublin airport, from where he was flying to his home in Florida to prepare for his next start at the Honda Classic.

The $30 million figure being reported in Irish media is a far larger sum than the €8 and €12 million ($9.1 million and $13.7 million) offers that were reportedly rejected by Horizon Sports.

The acrimonious 18-month battle between McIlroy and Horizon had set the stage for a highly anticipated courtroom showdown, at which McIlroy risked having all of his financial affairs laid bare. When lawyers sought an immediate adjournment on Tuesday morning speculation grew that the case would be settled outside of court.

McIlroy was suing Horizon Sports and two other related companies—Gurteen Ltd and Canovan Management Services—arguing that he signed an invalid and unenforceable agreement with Horizon in December 2011. He also claimed that he had paid his former managers fees that were unfairly high. Horizon countersued for alleged outstanding fees owed from negotiating McIlroy's corporate sponsorships, including a deal with Nike that is worth a reported $200 million.

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