Six Nations Rugby and private-equity firm CVC have announced a strategic long-term partnership with the firm acquiring a 14% stake in the Six Nations for R7.6 billion.
Among the stated aims of the partnership is to further develop the Six Nations Championship and Autumn International series for the benefit of players, fans and wider rugby community over the long term.
A media release from Six Nations Rugby (the organising body of the Six Nations tournament and Autumn Internationals) expanded upon the goals of the partnership.
‘The objective of the partnership is to invest to grow and develop the game; to further enhance the sporting spectacle of all the tournaments, the teams and the brands; and to build the data, technology, and broader commercial capabilities to support these ambitious plans.
‘These steps will ensure continued development of these prestigious tournaments for the benefit of existing fans, and to attract a new more diverse and global fanbase, which will support the wider rugby community, including the players, clubs, and unions, to achieve their full potential over the long term.’
CVC has a history of investment in rugby and also owns a share of the Gallagher Premiership, European Champions Cup and are rumoured to be looking to acquire a share of the PRO14. They will bring a wealth of commercial experience.
‘CVC will bring to the partnership its significant experience in sports, as well as its global network, working alongside the unions and the Six Nations Rugby management team, to deliver on ambitious growth plans for the Six Nations Championships and Autumn International series.
‘Under the terms of the agreement the six unions will retain sole responsibility for all sporting matters as well as majority control of commercial decisions.’
Ben Morel, CEO of Six Nations Rugby, is delighted with the partnership.
‘This is a hugely positive development and I want to express my thanks to all parties involved. In particular, our six unions and federations, for the strong sense of unity and collaboration they have shown throughout this process to create a unified Six Nations Rugby and agree the partnership with CVC.
‘This external investment is an important validation of what Six Nations Rugby has achieved to date and is a key next step as we invest to grow the game on the world stage.
‘CVC recognises the exciting potential in the Six Nations Championships and Autumn International series, and they are aligned with our vision for the future.
‘[They have] a proven track record of partnering to support growth strategies in sport and is uniquely positioned to help promote collaboration across the sport of rugby for the benefit of fans, players, clubs and unions and all other rugby stakeholders.’