The Guinness Pro14 has confirmed that it has entered into partnership with CVC Capital Partners.

The long-mooted deal sees the private equity and investment advisory firm take a 28% share of the Pro14 from Celtic Rugby DAC.

In 2018 CVC acquired a 27% stake in Premiership Rugby, England's top flight league.

The Irish Rugby Football Union has welcomed the announcement.

Its CEO Philip Browne said it was worth around €33 million (net of costs) to the union over the next three years with a payment of over €5.5m due today.

Browne, who revealed that they are facing losses of between €15-20m should the remaining 2020 Six Nations and November Tests be cancelled, said: "The announcement of CVC's investment in the Guinness Pro14 League is very positive news, not just for the financial benefits it brings, but, almost as importantly at this time, for the confidence it shows in the Pro14 tournament and the game of rugby in general."

The union hope professional rugby will return by the end of August.

The hope is there will be a series of derbies within the five countries that make up the Guinness Pro14. 

The weekend of 23-24 August is when the league hopes to resume. It also plans to hold play-offs and a final. 

He said the expectation is that new Pro 14 season would begin in early October.  All of these proposals will be part of Irish Rugby's return to sport proposals, which will require government approval.

A statement from the Pro14 about the CVC partnership said: "The partnership commitment will allow both Pro14 Rugby and the Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh rugby unions to continue to invest in the sport, both professional and amateur, to achieve its potential over the long term.

"A portion of the investment will also be held centrally at Pro14 Rugby, for the Board to invest in further capabilities for the business and in upgrading league operations in line with its growth ambitions.

"As part of this agreement, the Federazione Italiana Rugby (FIR), will also become a member of Celtic Rugby DAC, and receive a share of the investment.

"Martin Anayi, CEO, will continue to lead the management team at Pro14 Rugby, working closely with CVC and the unions on execution of the commercial plan.

"The unions will also remain independently responsible for the sporting and regulatory elements of the league, via the Sporting & Regulatory Committee."

Anayi said: "We have been clear that we believe the Guinness Pro14 is a world-class club 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."