Six Nations Rugby has reiterated its position regarding the sale of a minority stake in the championship to CVC Capital Partners by saying there is no agreement imminent.
A statement issued on Tuesday evening further distances the competition organisers from comments made over the week by French Federation president Bernard Laporte that negotiations over the sale of a 14.5 per cent stake by Six Nations Rugby Limited to CVC had reached a conclusion and his union was set to receive €73m over the next five years.
“Over the past year, Six Nations has been involved in exclusive negotiations with CVC Capital Partners. These negotiations have been very constructive and forward-thinking,” the Six Nations statement began.
“Negotiations of this nature are complex. They can take significant time and at this point, are still ongoing. An agreement is not to be expected imminently and it would be inaccurate to present it as a formality.
“There is no set timeline for completion of this process, and any agreement, if it were to go ahead, would not be accelerated due to any potential challenge presented by the current external environment.”
CVC already has a 27 per cent stake in England’s Premiership Rugby Limited, secured for around €230m in December 2018, and concluded the purchase of a 28 per cent holding in the Guinness PRO14 this May, the sale of which will net the IRFU €30m over five years.
Yet the talks between the Luxembourg-based private equity company and the Six Nations over the potential sale of a minority stake reported to be worth €330m to the championship’s shareholders, of which the IRFU is also one, were put on hold at the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.