The board of the Six Nations rugby union competition is closing in on investment worth more than £500m (€558m/$628m) from CVC Capital Partners, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper reported that the board has this week outlined plans to enter into “exclusive negotiations” with the firm for a minority stake in the annual event.
Previous reports have suggested that CVC’s bid is worth over £600m for a 30-per-cent stake in the Six Nations. CVC is looking to step up its investment in the sport after it acquired a 27-per-cent stake in Premiership Rugby late last year, and the firm is also closing a deal to invest in the Pro14 club competition.
The Daily Telegraph has now reported that the Six Nations board has selected CVC ahead of offers from other parties such as the IMG agency. The report states that the board’s preferred option is to sell a minority share of around 15 per cent to CVC.
The report adds that a response from the governing bodies of England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy is expected “within days”, with no obstacles appearing to prevent the deal from going through.
A Six Nations source told the Daily Telegraph: “The Six Nations agreed a preferred direction to enter into an exclusive window of negotiation subject to the rapid board ratification of each union.
“While we will not make any further comments on ongoing confidential discussions, the Six Nations reaffirm that the need for investment in the game is at the heart of its decision making process.”
In other news, John Jeffrey has been elected as chairman of the Six Nations Council for a three-year term. He will take over from Pat Whelan, who had served as chairman since April 2016.
Jeffrey becomes the first Scottish chairman since Allan Hosie, who served in the late 1990s and early 200s. Jeffrey has been a member of the Six Nations Council since 2012 and has represented Scottish Rugby at World Rugby since 2010.