The PRO14 have confirmed that an investment deal with CVC has been completed.
In a move that has long been on the cards, as the Luxembourg-based investment firm look to continue its growth within the sport, CVC will acquire a 28pc share of PRO14 Rugby, with the unions retaining a 72pc majority share.
As a tournament, the PRO14 has struggled to capture the imagination of many, but it is hoped that this latest development will help improve it as a whole.
The news comes on the back of the Six Nations revealing that they are in talks with SANZAAR about aligning the global calendar.
CVC have already invested in Premiership Rugby, as well as Formula 1 and Moto GP.
The announcement has been welcomed across the board by the various unions, as they are optimistic that it will provide rugby in this part of the world with a much-needed boost.
Crucially for the PRO14, CVC maintained their commitment to invest a sum understood to be in the region of €130 million, which is the same amount as had been mooted last year, before Covid-19 struck.
"The partnership commitment will allow both PRO14 Rugby and the Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh rugby unions to continue to invest in the sport, both professional and amateur, to achieve its potential over the long term," a statement from the PRO14 read.
"A portion of the investment will also be held centrally at PRO14 Rugby, for the Board to invest in further capabilities for the business and in upgrading league operations in line with its growth ambitions.
"As part of this agreement, the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), will also become a member of Celtic Rugby DAC, and receive a share of the investment.
"In the past four years, the Guinness PRO14 has performed well both on and off the field; doubling distributions to clubs and facilitating record investment back into the sport from the league. This has been recognised by CVC, who share PRO14 Rugby’s vision for the long-term potential of the league.
"CVC was selected by PRO14 Rugby and the unions as their partner due to the extensive experience of prior CVC funds investing in multiple sports businesses, such as Formula 1, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby.”
Current PRO14 CEO Martin Anayi will continue to lead the PRO14 and will now work in conjunction with the powers that be at CVC.
"CVC’s show of faith has been impressive and is in keeping with their proven track record of success when it comes to sports investment, including Formula 1, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby,” Anayi commented.
"This partnership allows all of our stakeholders to plan for a sustainable period of growth, which will benefit the fans, the players and the game.
"We are very pleased to partner with CVC, who saw us as an ambitious, fast paced and innovative organisation, situated across a number of core rugby nations that can deliver an increasing impact.
"We have been clear that we believe the Guinness PRO14 is a world-class club league, that is still in its growth phase and we are confident that it will become a major standard bearer in our sport.
"We are excited that CVC clearly shares that ambition and we look forward to working with them to deliver on the league’s promise in the years ahead."