Saturday 23 March 2019

Crouch, hold, invest: Private equity bidder seeks Six Nations stake

Rory Best of Ireland scores a try against France. Photo: Sportsfile
Rory Best of Ireland scores a try against France. Photo: Sportsfile

The Six Nations is considering a large offer from CVC Capital Partners that would give the private equity firm a minority stake in the Championship.

It's understood the deal could see CVC pay £500m for a 30pc stake.

The Six Nations - owned by the rugby unions in the countries that participate - would be CVC's first move into international rugby. News of the offer comes on the eve of a World Rugby-hosted meeting in Dublin in which the controversial Nations League is to be discussed. However, a Six Nations source has said that the CVC offer is just one of several options being considered to help launch 'Project Light' - the proposal that would see all the teams in the tournament pool their commercial revenue. It has been stressed that outside investment is not needed to get 'Project Light' off the ground.

The challenge facing World Rugby on Thursday is to convince the attending Six Nations teams - all tier one sides plus Fiji and Japan will be present -that their plans for an annual global tournament climaxing in a final is more beneficial than the pooled TV rights deal that they are negotiating. World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont called the meeting to discuss the future of the international game amidst controversy over plans for a Nations League.

A new global season is due to kick off next year, running until 2032.

Press Association

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