Liam Williams of Wales kicks upfield as Tom Curry of England expenses down through the Guinness Six Nations match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on February 27, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales.
LONDON — Global non-public equity firm CVC Capital Partners has paid £365 million ($509 million) for a 14.3% stake within the Six Nations, an annual males’s rugby tournament in Europe.
The announcement Thursday follows comparable investments by the firm involving British and Irish home groups, the Gallagher Premiership and Guinness Professional14. It brings CVC’s complete funding in skilled rugby union to greater than £700 million.
The new deal, which has taken 18 months to finalize, sees every of the rugby union nations concerned — England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy — promoting a share of their industrial income to CVC.
It’s additionally purchased the rights to the Autumn Nations Cup, a brand new competitors that failed to totally materialize final 12 months as a consequence of Covid-19. It will embody European nations and the massive Southern Hemisphere rugby nations, comparable to Australia and New Zealand. This ought to present an enormous enhance in earnings for CVC.
The 14.3% within the Six Nations will not be a controlling stake, nonetheless. It’s precisely a seventh share, giving CVC the identical voting rights as every nation. The subsequent set of TV rights are up for sale and it is possible that the competitors may see video games taken away from free-to-air TV, however it might want not less than three of the nations to comply with that deal.
On Friday, studies urged that CVC can also be set to purchase a 15% to 20% share within the industrial enterprise of South Africa’s rugby union group. It would increase CVC’s affect past Europe’s rugby nations for the primary time and would see the non-public equity firm have a stake in seven of the world’s prime 10 rugby nations.
This follows CVC’s failed try and spend money on New Zealand Rugby earlier this 12 months, shedding out to rival U.S. equity firm Silver Lake.
The worth of TV rights has stagnated in recent times however CVC remains to be anticipated to internet between £20 million and £30 million a 12 months, which is seen as an honest return on its preliminary funding.
CVC additionally believes that it may enhance revenues although higher advertising, branding and use of knowledge, one thing that some consider the Six Nations has beforehand failed to take advantage of. It’s anticipated that CVC will stay within the sport for 10 years earlier than wanting for potential patrons, however the six rugby unions may have some management over who the share is bought to.