The multi-million pound Six Nations investment deal tabled by private equity firm CVC appears to have stalled – according to reports. Kaye Wiggins and Murad Ahmed write in the Financial Times that the £300,000million buy-in has been delayed by the global coronavirus pandemic.
The deal – which would have seen CVC acquire 14 per cent of the Six Nations – has been the talk of rugby circles since 2019. The impact of the global pandemic now means that contracts are yet to be signed, as a lack of clarity remains over the tournament’s immediate future.
The report states papers were to be signed last month but the Six Nations told the Financial Times that: “We have not agreed to either take a break nor to push through a completed agreement. The conversations are simply ongoing and obviously take into account the new environment created by the current pandemic.”
CVC have already invested significantly in rugby union, buying significant shares of both the Gallagher Premiership and the Guinness PRO14.
RugbyPass reported last year that the CVC deal could see some Six Nations matches no longer broadcast on free-to-air television, a move that would inevitably cause controversy in the sport.
Meanwhile, World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont is confident a more unified approach to tackle the challenges presented by coronavirus can help his sport create a new international structure.
Plans for a two-tier Nations Championship – working around the Six Nations and Rugby Championship with promotion and relegation – were scrapped in June last year after failing to garner enough support.
But Beaumont, who hopes to be re-elected in his role next month, feels the suspension of sport is a chance to re-examine international calendars.
And, with World Rugby launching an £80million fund this week to help unions negotiate the coronavirus crisis, he is encouraged by the togetherness between rugby nations.
“I’m pretty confident that there will be a variation of the nations cup,” the former England captain told BBC Radio Five Live.
– RugbyPass, additional reporting PA
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