CVC completes investment into Guinness PRO14

22 May 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

The Guinness PRO14 has confirmed that CVC Capital Partners (through a fund known as CVC Fund VII) has completed its strategic partnership investment into the league, which includes teams from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy and South Africa.

Under the agreement, CVC Fund VII will acquire a 28% share of PRO14 Rugby from Celtic Rugby DAC, while the Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Italian Unions, who are the owners of the league, will retain the 72 per cent majority share.

As part of the agreement, the Italian Rugby Federation, will also become a member of Celtic Rugby DAC, and receive a share of the investment.

A portion of the investment will also be held centrally at PRO14 Rugby, for the Board to invest in further capabilities for the business and in upgrading league operations in line with its growth ambitions.

According to the PRO14, current CEO Martin Anayi, will continue to lead its management team, while the unions will also remain independently responsible for the sporting and regulatory elements of the league, via the Sporting & Regulatory Committee.

“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,” said Anayi. “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.”