Private equity group CVC Capital Partners’ planned £300m ($375m/€345m) investment in rugby union’s Six Nations competition has been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report in the Financial Times.
CVC has been in talks with the Six Nations about acquiring a 14 per cent stake, one of a series of investments by the company in rugby properties. In 2018, it acquired 27 per cent of English club league Premiership Rugby, paying £200m. It is also in talks about a £120m investment in the Pro14 European and South African league, and is reported to have had talks with the rugby unions on South Africa and New Zealand.
The FT reports that the six unions involved in the Six Nations are holding back on the CVC deal, until they understand better the financial hit they are facing due to Covid-19. This year’s Six Nations was halted with four games remaining. UK newspaper The Rugby Paper has reported that the unions will this week discuss the possibility of playing the remaining games in September, as well as a possible second Six Nations tournament in October and November.
The Six Nations told the FT that conversations with CVC were continuing although were taking into account “the new environment created by the current pandemic”. The report said it was believed the deal would still be completed this year.