Premiership Rugby, the body that oversees the top rugby union division in England, has had a deal to sell a minority shareholding to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners approved by its clubs.
The Press Association reported that CVC will snap up a 27-per-cent stake for an undisclosed sum, with the transaction expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
The report suggested that CVC had initially sought a majority stake in the body. However, that proposal was rejected by Premiership Rugby’s umbrella organisation, the Gallagher Premiership.
Clubs have voted unanimously to approve the deal with CVC, which has had well-documented interests in the likes of Formula One and MotoGP in recent years.
“We’re happy that CVC’s track record speaks for itself,” Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty said.
“They were in MotoGP for eight years and only came out of that because of the requirements for moving into Formula One. They were in Formula One for the best part of 10 years. They are expecting to be in this for the long term and they understand what’s required to invest and build.
“I expect Premiership Rugby in seven or eight years’ time to be an even more globally followed business. That expansion needs support. The clubs see this as a way to accelerate growth and bring new fans into the game and opening up audiences.”