Company make £275m bid to buy Premiership Rugby
The Premiership is in talks over whether to agree a game-changing, historic deal for rugby by selling controlling ownership of the league to a private equity firm for about £275 million.
The deal is regarded by insiders as potentially the biggest step-change in club rugby since the game went professional 23 years ago, and is being compared to when football’s Premier League was formed in 1992.
The executive committee of Premier Rugby Ltd (PRL) has been in negotiations for about a year with CVC Capital Partners, the private equity company based in Luxembourg which made about £8 billion from its decade-long ownership of Formula One.
PRL is owned by 13 member clubs: the 12 sides in the Premiership and London Irish. The 13 club owners will have a special meeting on Tuesday when the executive committee will present the deal with CVC.
It is understood the clubs have long sought a means to raise extra capital in order to take the league to the next level.
But CVC’s valuation of the league falls short of the clubs’ expectations.
Club sources have indicated that the approach is one of a handful of options.
The Premiership Rugby spokesperson added: “This interest is of course very good news for Premiership Rugby and is a reflection of its growing international appeal. But a decision is not imminent.”