Premiership clubs rebuff CVC Capital Partners £275m takeover bid

The Aviva Premiership clubs have agreed a majority share sale is not their "preferred option". Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Premiership Rugby's member clubs have agreed they are eager to explore investment opportunities but say selling a majority share to a private party is not a "preferred option".

The 12 current Gallagher Premiership clubs and London Irish -- which also owns shares in the top flight -- met to consider a £275 million takeover bid from the investment firm CVC Capital Partners.

The Luxembourg-based company, which previously owned the commercial rights to Formula One, had been seeking to secure a 51 percent share, but were rebuffed on Tuesday night.

Premiership chiarman Ian Ritchie said the clubs had shown a willingness to grow the game but were not prepared to give up majority control.

""The good thing for us is clearly there's a great interest in a fantastic product. We're very interested to explore areas of investment to grow the game and the league even further," Ritchie told BBC Sport.

"It's fair to say the majority control is not the preferred option but we would look at a variety of investment opportunities."

The bid could have meant a much-needed investment of around £17 million into each club with many suffering recent heavy financial losses.