THE Welsh regions are set for a timely cash boost after the Guinness PRO14 completed a deal worth around £120million with a private investment firm.

Luxembourg-based CVC will acquire a 28 per cent share of PRO14 Rugby with the unions retaining a 72 per cent majority share.

A portion of the investment will held by the league "to invest in further capabilities for the business and in upgrading league operations in line with its growth ambitions" but the agreement is set to give a lift to the professional game in Wales.

The deal is believed to be worth around £35million to the regions - the Dragons, Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets - at a time when they are braced for a big financial hit courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic.

The funds will go to the Welsh Rugby Union and be distributed by the Professional Rugby Board.

South Wales Argus:

"Celtic Rugby has been working hard on this partnership for a considerable amount of time, it is to the credit of everyone involved that the deal is now over the line and we look forward to a sea change in the ability of the PRO14 to realise its full potential," said WRU chief executive Phillips.

"CVC's belief in our sport is clear, their commitment is hugely encouraging and this investment is great news for our teams and for Welsh rugby as a whole, although we are under no illusions that Covid-19 has and will continue to have a significant impact on our organisation for some time

"The Guinness PRO14 is a cross-border competition which brings unique challenges in the current climate, but this is a ringing endorsement for the recent evolution of the competition."

CVC have previously invested in Formula One, Moto GP and Premiership Rugby and the hope is that their involvement will give a lift to the PRO14.

"We are very pleased to partner with CVC, who saw us as an ambitious, fast paced and innovative organisation, situated across a number of core rugby nations that can deliver an increasing impact," said the league's chief executive Martin Anayi.

"We have been clear that we believe the Guinness PRO14 is a world-class club rugby league, that is still in its growth phase and we are confident that it will become a major standard bearer in our sport.

"We are excited that CVC clearly shares that ambition and we look forward to working with them to deliver on the league's promise in the years ahead."

South Wales Argus:

CVC's interest was welcomed by Dragons chairman David Buttress (pictured above with director of rugby Dean Ryan) earlier this year, with the former Just Eat chief executive speculating that it could lead to a British League.

"CVC are super-smart guys, they are off-the-charts smart. I trust these guys implicitly with improving our product and frankly I probably trust them more than anyone else, including the governing bodies," he said to supporters in February.

"That's a pretty bold thing to say but these guys are so smart that they will just do the right thing for the product.

"They will just cut through the rubbish and the politics that gets professional sport stuck. I think that is a good thing, because I just want a product that is good and will grow the game. Growing the game means more kids playing and more punters coming through the gate.

"I trust CVC and I think they will be very challenging. They will question the speed of decision-making, they will question the quality of execution and if people can't deliver that then they will get people in that can.

"CVC will look at the data and say that the British League is a no-brainer and that we've got to find a way to make it work.

"I understand there will be complexity and complication but it's surely not a coincidence that CVC have bought into the English Premiership and the PRO14. They are not doing that to keep them in isolation, I can't believe that."