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CVC complete £116m acquisition of PRO14 shares

PRO14

The PRO14 and CVC have finalised their deal which will see the former owners of Formula 1 acquire a 28 percent share in Celtic Rugby.

The investment by CVC had appeared set to be completed earlier this year prior to the global health pandemic.

But after awaiting the financial fallout of rugby’s lockdown, CVC have ratified their deal unchanged from its original value of £116m.

The newest addition to CVC’s rugby portfolio, which opened with the 27 per cent holding with Premiership Rugby in 2018, comes as part of a £420m plan to expand into PRO14 and the Six Nations.

And while the Six Nations investment waits to be ratified with the 2020 tournament unfinished and plans develop to revolutionise the competition’s window as part of a ‘global calendar’, CVC have been welcomed by the PRO14.

“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,” PRO14 chief executive Martin 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.”

The Rugby Paper has previously reported CVC’s investment will bring in a share of £40m to the four Welsh regions.

Welsh Rugby Unions chief exeuctive Martyn Phillips has welcomed the investment, which will see Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR) gain membership to the Celtic League DAC.

“Celtic Rugby has been working hard on this partnership for a considerable amount of time, it is to the credit of everyone involved that the deal is now over the line and we look forward to a sea change in the ability of the PRO14 to realise its full potential,” said Phillips.

“CVC’s belief in our sport is clear, their commitment is hugely encouraging and this investment is great news for our teams and for Welsh rugby as a whole, although we are under no illusions that COVID has and will continue to have a significant impact on our organisation for some time.

“The Guinness PRO14 is a cross-border competition which brings unique challenges in the current climate, but this is a ringing endorsement for the recent evolution of the competition.”

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