A private equity group have agreed a deal to buy a 15% share in the Six Nations.

The Times report that CVC Capital Partners will pay just over £300million to buy a slice of the competition as they expand their influence over European rugby.

The Six Nations unions have been in talks for some time as to how to pool their commercial interests and this move represents the culmination of those efforts.

The contract with CVC will not just cover the Six Nations tournament but also includes autumn internationals and summer tours.

"Six Nations believes that investment in rugby football is vital for the long-term future of our game and this belief is central in our decision to enter into this period of negotiation," said a Six Nations statement.

"Six Nations, together with its constituent unions and federations, has agreed to enter into an exclusive period of negotiation with an external investor partner.

"As these negotiations are confidential and commercially sensitive, Six Nations will not be making any further comment."  

CVC have already bought a stake in the Gallagher Premiership and are close to agreeing a deal for a part of the Guinness Pro14 league.

The group have yet to turn their attentions to France's Top14 league, but that may soon follow as, with the completion of the Pro14 deal, they will have a stake in two of the three leagues involved in the Champions Cup.

The Luxembourg based private equity firm have previously been in control of Formula One and have a history of investing in sport.