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Premiership Rugby poised to seal major investment deal

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(Reuters) – England’s Premiership Rugby is confident of completing a “landmark” investment deal with a private equity company by the end of the year, according to senior figures within the organisation.

British media reported that Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners, previously the commercial rights holders for Formula One, have offered more than 200 million pounds for a minority share in the business.

“It’s a landmark moment for us if we can get there and will usher in a new era for the club game going into next year,” chief executive Mark McCafferty said after a board meeting.

“It (the deal) comes down to a few issues and we have to work through those remaining points. But with the collective will around the table today we can find the answers to those remaining few items.”

In September, Premiership Rugby said it was opposed to selling a majority share to a private party after reports emerged that CVC sought to buy a 51 percent share with a bid of around 275 million pounds.

However, Premiership Rugby chairman Ian Ritchie said there was “complete unanimity” about the need for investment.

“We remain on track for achieving this,” Ritchie added.

Premiership Rugby is owned by 13 member clubs, many of whom have suffered heavy financial losses, comprising the 12 sides that make up the top division plus London Irish.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)

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