World Rugby chief executive Alan Gilpin has confirmed that the global governing body has opened talks with private equity firms about investing in the sport.
Gilpin said that World Rugby is in discussions with groups such as CVC Capital Partners and KKR over a deal that could include a stake in the commercial rights for the Rugby World Cup. Any potential investment would be used to fund expansion efforts such as new women’s tournaments and television formats for sevens events outside of the Olympic Games.
Talks remain in the early stages, according to the report, which added that World Rugby has hired bankers at Jefferies and Rothschild, as well as consultants at Oakwell Sports Advisory, to advise on the process.
CVC has increasingly been growing its presence in rugby union with a series of investments in recent years.
“In the sport of rugby, the World Cup, for both men and women, is the premium property, so would demand the highest possible valuation,” Gilpin said. “We’ve had good talks with potential investors in that regard.”
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