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Premiership Rugby agrees to sale


Premiership Rugby agrees to monster sale of shares to private equity firm

Premiership Rugby has agreed to sell a reported 27 percent of its shares to CVC Capital Partners in return for a fee believed to be in the region of £200million.

In September, the 12 Premiership clubs voted to reject a proposal from the private equity firm to take control of 51 percent of the shares for around £275m.

But three months later, a deal has been struck between all parties – one that was unanimously accepted by the clubs.

CVC has previously been involved in MotoGP and Formula One, and Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty believes the new partnership will elevate the competition to a greater standing on the global stage.

“We’re happy that CVC’s track record speaks for itself,” he said.

“They were in MotoGP for eight years and only came out of that because of the requirements for moving into Formula One. They were in Formula One for the best part of 10 years.

“They are expecting to be in this for the long-term and they understand what’s required to invest and build.

“I expect Premiership Rugby in seven or eight years’ time to be an even more globally followed business. That expansion needs support. The clubs see this as a way to accelerate growth and bring new fans into the game and opening up audiences.

“We will be able to invest at a greater level and build the competition out further. There’s stadium development at Bath, Saracens and Harlequins already on the board and this will help with those.

“We have a salary cap in place and that’s not moving for the next couple of years. We are investing in operations and infrastructure, that’s the key.”

The Premiership clubs have been warned not to spend their incoming on windfall on players’ wages, instead encouraged to use it on facilities and marketing efforts for the league.

“They key thing for the next few years is to build the facilities, the infrastructure and the investment in central marketing,” he said.

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Premiership Rugby agrees to monster sale of shares to private equity firm