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Six Nations play down expectation of imminent deal with CVC

Bernard Laporte has said a deal is almost done.

The Six Nations trophy.
The Six Nations trophy.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

THE SIX NATIONS today confirmed they are holding talks with a private equity firm to buy shares in the competition, though played down expectation bred by Bernard Laporte that a deal is imminent.

French Federation president Laporte said over the weekend that CVC Capital Partners -which formerly owned a controlling stake in Formula One and has already purchased parts of the English Premiership and the Pro14 domestic leagues – had negotiated a deal to buy a stake in the Six Nations. 

“Roughly, originally it was going to be €374 million to take 14%. Afterwards there will be a redistribution internally, there will be a pooling of resources, and another part on TV rights, registered players,” Laporte told AFP, saying the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the size of the investment. 

“For France it was €80 million. Now it will be between €70 and €80 million. It’s not nothing.

“After Covid-19 they re-negotiated, a little bit lower but not enormous. We should have an answer in under two months,” he added.

Tournament organisers have today confirmed talks are ongoing, but sounded a note of caution in saying nothing has been agreed. 

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“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,” a Six Nations statement said.

“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,” it added.

 This year’s tournament was put on hold in March due to the virus outbreak with all sides having at least one game to play.

Reports in French media claim the remaining fixtures will be played in October.

© – AFP 2020, with reporting by Gavin Cooney

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