Premiership Rugby agrees sale of minority stake to CVC

After months of searching, England’s Premiership Rugby has secured fresh investment, finalising a deal with former Formula One ownership group CVC Capital Partners, according to RugbyPass.

Earlier this year, CVC had an offer of £275m (€309m/$358m) for 51 per cent of the Premiership rejected by the competition’s board. Although investment was being actively sought, the board did not want to relinquish a majority share, electing to keep the Premiership under the control of the clubs.

The new package, agreed between CVC and Rothschild & Co, which advises Premiership Rugby, will reportedly see CVC still pay over £200m in exchange for a “substantial minority investment”, believed to be about 30 per cent.

The Premiership clubs have been searching for new sources of investment after suffering losses in recent years. Collectively, the 12 teams saw a deficit of £35m for the financial year 2017/18.

The news comes shortly after England’s Rugby Football Union announced significant losses of over £30m for the year – admitting that part of this was due to overpaying on their £225m, eight-year deal with Premiership Rugby to compensate its clubs for international player call-ups. The deal will be renegotiated in 2024.