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CVC Buys 28 Percent Share Of PRO14 Rugby

London-based private equity firm CVC Capital Partners has acquired a 28 percent share in the Guinness PRO14 rugby union competition.

CVC has purchased the share from the league’s organising body, Celtic Rugby DAC, and its member unions in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and Italy, who will maintain a 72 percent majority share.

Celtic Rugby DAC chairman and Scottish Rugby CEO, Dominic McKay, said the unions will also remain independently responsible for the sporting and regulatory elements of the league, via the Sporting & Regulatory Committee.

“I am delighted that we have managed to welcome CVC into the Guinness PRO14 as our partner,” McKay said.

“As a board, we have been ambitious in our outlook and have significantly developed the league in recent years.

“One of our key goals was to secure a strategic partner to help accelerate our plans and CVC bring a wealth of experience and great expertise in this regard.

“Sport, like all of society is dealing with major challenges currently that we could not have imagined just a few months ago, and it is a testament to the strength of our partnership with CVC that they have committed to the game of rugby in a such a significant way.

“Their enthusiasm and commitment is a welcome vote of confidence in the future of the sport and the Guinness PRO14 as an international competition.

“Completing this partnership with CVC is testament to the hard work invested by many people who have focused to deliver a bright vision for PRO14 and enable it to realise its commercial value in the global sports market.

“We are also delighted that the FIR (Federazione Italiana Rugby) has now joined Celtic Rugby DAC as a shareholder after 10 years of participation in the league.

“Alongside my PRO14 Board colleagues at the Irish, Italian, Welsh and South African rugby unions, I would like to warmly welcome CVC to the Guinness PRO14,” he said.

PRO14 Rugby CEO, Martin Anayi, said CVC’s success in sports investment will help deliver the league’s growth.

“CVC’s show of faith has been impressive and is in keeping with their proven track record of success when it comes to sports investment, including Formula 1, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby,” Anayi said.

“This partnership allows all of our stakeholders to plan for a sustainable period of growth, which will benefit the fans, the players and the game.

“We are very pleased to partner with CVC, who saw us as an ambitious, fast paced and innovative organisation, situated across a number of core rugby nations that can deliver an increasing impact.

“We have been clear that we believe the Guinness PRO14 is a world-class club league, that is still in its growth phase and we are confident that it will become a major standard bearer in our sport.

“We are excited that CVC clearly shares that ambition and we look forward to working with them to deliver on the league’s promise in the years ahead,” he said.