Six Nations and CVC Capital Partners confirm investment deal

11 Mar 2021

By: Sport Industry Group

The Six Nations has confirmed that it has entered into a ‘long-term strategic partnership’ with CVC Capital Partners, as the private equity group has taken share of the competition worth just over 14%, investing some £365 milllion into the tournament.

The deal marks the latest CVC move into northern hemisphere rugby, coming after recent deals with the Gallagher Premiership and the Guinness PRO14.

Each of the six Unions, will retain an 85.7% share - or six-sevenths - with CVC Fund VII's one-seventh stake totalling up to £365 million. 

According to the Six Nations, the partnership will invest in the sport to grow and develop the game; enhance the sporting spectacle of the men’s, women’s and U20 tournaments, and build the data, technology, and broader commercial capabilities to support the plans. 

In a statement, Six Nations Rugby said: "Under the terms of the agreement the six unions will retain sole responsibility for all sporting matters as well as majority control of commercial decisions.

“The CVC Fund VII investment into Six Nations Rugby will be paid to the six unions over a period of five years, reflecting the long-term nature of the partnership. This capital investment, combined with the expected growth of the tournaments, will help the unions to support the development of rugby at all levels in their respective territories over the years ahead.”

Ben Morel, CEO, Six Nations Rugby added: “This is a hugely positive development and I want to express my thanks to all parties involved. In particular, our six unions and federations, for the strong sense of unity and collaboration they have shown throughout this process to create a unified Six Nations Rugby and agree the partnership with CVC.

“The Six Nations Championship is steeped in rugby tradition, stretching back to 1883, and together with the women’s, Under-20s and Autumn International series, is synonymous with all the excitement, colour, and passion that rugby has to offer. This external investment is an important validation of what Six Nations Rugby has achieved to date and is a key next step as we invest to grow the game on the world stage.

“When we started this journey, our aim was to ensure we found the right strategic partner, who can add real value and is committed to a long-term relationship. CVC recognises the exciting potential in the Six Nations Championships and Autumn International series, and they are aligned with our vision for the future.

“CVC has a proven track record of partnering to support growth strategies in sport and is uniquely positioned to help promote collaboration across the sport of rugby for the benefit of fans, players, clubs and unions and all other rugby stakeholders.”