September 11, 2018 / 6:28 PM / 13 days ago

Premiership Rugby decides against selling majority stake - chairman

(Reuters) - Premiership Rugby is keen to explore investment opportunities to grow the game but selling a majority share to a private party is not their “preferred option”, chairman Ian Ritchie told the BBC on Tuesday.

British media reported last week that Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners, previously the commercial rights holders for Formula One, had sought to buy a 51 percent share in the Premiership with a bid of around 275 million pounds.

The Financial Times reported that the owners of the Premiership’s 13 clubs met on Tuesday and decided that they would continue to seek investment opportunities, such as selling a minority stake, but were unwilling to pass control to other organisations.

Premiership Rugby and CVC Capital Partners have yet to respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

“The good thing for us is clearly there’s a great interest in a fantastic product... We’re very interested to explore areas of investment to grow the game and the league even further,” Ritchie told BBC Sport.

“But it’s fair to say, the majority control is not the preferred option but we would look at a variety of investment opportunities.”

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

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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