CCPC requires commitment from CVC to secure approval of certain ownership interests in Celtic Rugby DAC

January 15, 2020

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has cleared, subject to a binding commitment, the proposed transaction whereby certain interests of Celtic Rugby Designated Activity Company (Celtic Rugby DAC) will be acquired by CVC, through a newly incorporated company NewCo. As part of the transaction NewCo is to be invested in by certain CVC Funds and will acquire a minority interest in a partnership structure comprising of a limited partner and a general partner, which will acquire and operate the businesses of Celtic Rugby DAC.

Following notification on 12 November 2019, the CCPC undertook an extended Phase 1 investigation to establish whether the proposed transaction would result in a substantial lessening of competition for goods or services in the State. During the course of this investigation, the CCPC became aware of media reports of a possible investment by CVC Funds in the Six Nations Championship which raised potential competition concerns regarding the likely competitive impact of the proposed transaction in the event of such investment.

CVC submitted proposals to the CCPC. In response to these concerns, CVC committed that if an entity invested in by CVC Funds, directly or indirectly, enters a legally binding agreement to acquire control over the commercial activities of the Six Nations Championship, it will voluntarily notify that transaction to the CCPC in the event the transaction does not meet the mandatory notification thresholds. The CCPC is of the view that the commitment obtained from CVC is appropriate and effective in addressing the identified potential competition concerns. The commitment forms part of the CCPC’s determination to clear the proposed transaction, which makes it legally binding on the parties.

Further details of the CCPC’s announcement can be found here.


Additional Information

CVC means CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS S.A. and CVC Network consists of CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS S.A. and each of its subsidiaries from time to time, and CVC Capital Partners Advisory Group Holding Foundation and each of its subsidiaries from time to time, which are privately owned entities whose activities include providing investment advice to and/or managing investments on behalf of certain funds and investment vehicles (CVC Funds). The CVC Funds hold interests in a number of companies in various industries including chemicals, utilities, manufacturing, retailing and distribution, primarily in Europe, the US and the Asia -Pacific Region.

The principal activity of Celtic Rugby Designated Activity Company is the ownership, management and commercialisation of the broadcasting and sponsorship rights of the PRO14. The PRO14 is an international professional rugby union competition involving fourteen rugby clubs; two from Scotland, two from South Africa, two from Italy, four from Wales and four from Ireland.

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