Bjork sells shares in self to fund Tour bid
Swedish golfer Alexander Bjork is aiming to become the first in the world to sell shares in himself to fund his ambition of joining the top flight European tour.
Bjork, who currently plays on the Nordea Tour, is the guinea pig for finance company Trade in Sports, who are testing a new way of financing talent in the Nordic state.
"It feels great to be among the first and I hope that others will be able to benefit if it's a success," Bjork told Reuters about the share sale scheme.
Trade in Sports is offering to sell shares at 100 crowns each in Bjork to raise a total of 396,000 Swedish crowns ($60,100) to help pay for training and travel.
The initial public offering will last from August to December, after which secondary trade in the shares is planned.
Investors will receive 15 percent of any prize money won by Bjork over a four-year period.
"Last year he won about 150,000 crowns and so far this year he has earned 75,000 crowns," said Claes Holmstrom, chief executive of Trade in Sports, whose main activity so far has been selling shares in a harness-racing horse.
"When it comes to athletes, it is a fact today that if you don't have financial support it gets tough to get competitive within the sports industry."
Holmstrom added that buying shares in a sportsperson could be an alternative to betting.
"You are investing in them rather than gambling on them," he said.
Holmstrom aims to sell shares in other aspiring Swedish golfers and tennis players.
($1 = 6.5931 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Patrick Lannin, Editing by Tom Bartlett)