Vice-chairman of World Rugby, Bernard Laporte, has revealed that CVC are set to acquire a 14.5 percent stake in the Six Nations.
Laporte, former head coach of the French national team, revealed the news at the AGM of the FFR, France's rugby association. The buy-in has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bernard Laporte has confirmed CVC to take a 14.5% stake in the Guinness Six Nations at this weekend’s FFR AGM
FFR to receive €75 million over five years from the deal. No confirmation of if it’s 6 equal shares, but you’d imagine so.
— Robert Rees (@Rreesrugby) July 5, 2020
The group's initial interest in the tournament was seen as controversial. National unions were adamant that they would not allow Six Nations matches go behind a paywall, with CVC's interest directly linked to Sky Sports bid for exclusive rights to international rugby's oldest tournament. However, the sheer scale of Sky's offer was enough for national unions to back down from their original stance.
According to French sports publication Midi Olympique, the FFR are set to receive €75 million over the course of five years. It is not certain whether the other five national associations will receive an equal share.
Le Tournoi des 6 Nations aura bientôt un nouvel actionnaire via une filiale en charge des droits commerciaux.https://t.co/Pbim5hupqh
— Midi Olympique (@midi_olympique) July 5, 2020
CVC have also invested in both the English Premiership and PRO14, with both deals worth an estimated €350m. The Luxembourg-based buyout group utilise credit asset management and venture capitalism in order to gain return on their investments, with Formula One previously forming part of their portfolio.
The news of CVC's share acquisition will be welcomed by all national unions. It's unclear of how much the national federations have lost during the lockdown, although it is imagined that it is the several millions.
If Sky do secure the rights to the Six Nations, it will mean that no annual rugby tournaments, with the exception of the Champions Cup, will be available on free to air television.