Rugby deal values values Pro-14 tournament business at €333.8m

Sale occurred ahead of rebranding to the United Rugby Championship

Munster versus Connacht in the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup in Thomond Park, Limerick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster versus Connacht in the Guinness Pro14 Rainbow Cup in Thomond Park, Limerick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

The company behind the Guinness Pro14 rugby tournament put a book value of £281.37 million (€333.8 million) on the business when selling it on to a newly-formed joint venture, according to its accounts.

The sale took place ahead of the rebranding of the Pro14 to the United Rugby Championship after the introduction of four new South African teams.

A note attached to the 2020 accounts for Celtic Rugby DAC concerning the £281.37 million sale of its Pro14 tournament operations on December 23rd, 2019, to a newly-formed joint venture, Pro Rugby Championship DAC, stated that an investment of the same amount had been made in the business’s new joint venture, the United Rugby Championship.

The new venture is held jointly by Celtic Rugby and a third party.

The accounts said that, following the sale, the main activity of Celtic Rugby DAC is that of an investment holding company.

Revenue

Underscoring the impact of Covid-19 and the company reorganisation on the financial performance of Celtic Rugby last year, revenue more than halved from £26.39 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2019 to £12.15 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2020. The pandemic-induced lockdowns led to the temporary suspension of the Pro-14 rugby tournament on a number of occasions and impacted on revenue

The four shareholders of Celtic Rugby are the the rugby unions of the participating countries – Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.

Celtic Rugby was able to book a pretax profit of £261.7 million in the 12 months to the end of June last chiefly from the £276.8 million profit from the sale of its business. The sale involved transaction costs of £3.9 million.

Celtic Rugby also paid out a dividend of £21.97 million to its four shareholders during the year.

As a result of the sale, Celtic Rugby’s shareholder funds at the end of June 2020 stood at £246.6 million.

The Celtic Rugby accounts said that it was confident, through its joint venture investment, that it had adequate financial resources going forward.