Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips has welcomed the CVC Capital Partners Fund VII (CVC) investment in the Guinness PRO14, announced this morning.
Under this agreement CVC will acquire a 28-per-cent share of PRO14 Rugby from Celtic Rugby DAC and the Unions will retain the 72-per-cent majority share.
Celtic Rugby DAC is the organisation responsible for running and operating the Guinness PRO14 Rugby Championship and is owned by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
The partnership will allow both PRO14 Rugby and the Irish, Italian, Scottish & Welsh rugby unions to continue to invest in the sport, both professional and amateur, to achieve its potential over the long term.
A portion of the investment will also be held centrally at PRO14 Rugby, to invest in further capabilities for the business and in upgrading league operations in line with its growth ambitions.
"Celtic Rugby has been working hard on this partnership for a considerable amount of time, it is to the credit of everyone involved that the deal is now over the line and we look forward to a sea change in the ability of the PRO14 to realise its full potential," said Phillips.
"CVC’s belief in our sport is clear, their commitment is hugely encouraging and this investment is great news for our teams and for Welsh rugby as a whole, although we are under no illusions that COVID has and will continue to have a significant impact on our organisation for some time.
"The Guinness PRO14 is a cross-border competition which brings unique challenges in the current climate, but this is a ringing endorsement for the recent evolution of the competition."
As part of the agreement, the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), will also become a member of Celtic Rugby DAC, and receive a share of the investment.
CVC’s belief in our sport is clear, their commitment is hugely encouraging and this investment is great news for our teams and for Welsh rugby as a whole...