World Rugby is exploring investment opportunities and has opened talks with private equity firms including CVC Capital Partners, per the Financial Times.
The rugby union is looking to auction off a stake in its commercial arm to fund expansion efforts that include new women’s tournaments and television formats for events outside the Olympic Games.
Talks between World Rugby and CVC are in the early stages with bankers from Jefferies Group and Rothschild advising the process. World Rugby is also in discussions with private equity firm KKR & Co. Inc.
CVC’s list of sports investments runs deep:
- It purchased a 28% stake in the United Rugby Championship for $169 million in 2020.
- In February, the firm invested $300 million in the International Volleyball Federation.
- In March, it acquired a 14% stake in Six Nations Rugby for up to $509 million.
- It’s currently in talks for a $600 million deal that would merge the ATP and WTA.
- The firm is seeking a stake in the Currie Cup, South Africa’s premier rugby union.
Despite CVC’s bevy of new ventures, some efforts have been subject to criticism.
Seven Serie A teams asked their president, Paolo Dal Pino, to step down following his proposed deal with a private consortium that included CVC. The deal would’ve given up a 10% stake in the soccer league’s media company for $2 billion.