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The CVC Capital Partners investment group in Luxembourg is poised to complete a potential European trifecta of rugby investment, obtaining minority equity participation in the Six Nations Championship, English Premiership, and the Guinness Pro 14, the latter composed of clubs from Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Italy, and South Africa.
The CVC group boasts of $75 billion in asset management, with $116 billion in committed funds worldwide.
The rugby offers include:
- Pro 14 - £120 million ($155 million);
- Premiership - £200 million ($258 million) for 27% equity stake; and,
- Six Nations Championship - £500 million ($615 million) for 30% of the commercial rights.
These tenders come at a time when, in the Premiership, 12 of the 13 clubs reported significant losses last season. For example, Wasps were down £9.7 million ($12.5 million). Only the Exeter Chiefs (the leaders) showed a profit of £533,000 ($688,000).
The Premiership deal would return £13.5 million ($17.4 million) to each of the thirteen clubs. The monies would be used for club infrastructure improvement and debt service.
CVC continues to be bullish on sport. The firm perceives it can provide a more successful model to find profitable sponsorship and media deals for rugby. CVC has existing stakes in Formula One, MotoGP, Merlin Entertainments, Virgin Active, Sky Bet and Stage Entertainment.
The Six Nations CVC proffer, if accepted, would nullify any World Rugby Nation's Championship initiative. In effect, there would be no future 12 nations World League, joining the Six Nations, the Rugby Championship (New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and Argentina) and two other countries (e.g.; Japan and the USA).