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New IPL teams: Goenka gets Lucknow; CVC bags Ahmedabad

Kolkata-based business tycoon Sanjiv Goenka’s RP-SG Group claimed the Lucknow franchise for a whopping Rs 7090 crore, while international equity investment firm CVC Capital won the bid for Ahmedabad with a Rs 5625 crore offer as the eagerly-awaited two new IPL teams were unveiled in Dubai on Monday.

The BCCI was expecting a windfall in the range of Rs 10,000 crore but to their surprise, earned Rs 12,690 crore from the two new teams that will take part in the 2022 IPL.Goenka was one of the favourites to win a team after having been in the IPL for two years in 2016 and 2017, when he owned the Rising Pune Supergiants.

“BCCI is pleased to announce the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed):

1.     RPSG Ventures Ltd. – Lucknow (for Rs 7090 crores)

2.     Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) – Ahmedabad (for Rs 5625 crores),” BCCI said in a media release.

With the addition of the two new teams, the IPL 2022 season will comprise ten teams and will have 74 matches, wherein each team will play nine home and nine away matches, it further added.

One of the major companies that lost out was Gautam Adani’s Adani Group which bid around Rs 5000 crore, while bids of Glazers from Manchester United and Torrent Group also fell short of the mark.22 companies have picked up tender document worth Rs 10 lakh but with base price for new teams pegged at Rs 2000 crore, only five to six serious bidders were in fray.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the addition of two new teams will give more opportunities to India’s domestic players.

“The IPL will now go to two new cities in India viz in Lucknow and Ahmedabad. It is heartening to see the inclusion of two new teams at such a high valuation, and it reiterates the cricketing and financial strength of our cricket ecosystem. True to IPL’s motto of ‘Where Talent Meets Opportunity’, the inclusion of two new teams will bring more domestic cricketers from our country to the global stage.

The ITT process included two interested bidders from outside of India, which strongly emphasises the global appeal of the IPL as a sports property. The IPL is proving to be a wonderful instrument in globalising the game of cricket. I am keenly looking forward to IPL 2022,” said Ganguly.It was nearly a seven-hour process that led to BCCI announcing the winners after intense scrutiny that involved technical vetting followed by opening of the financial bid documents.

The companies that cleared the final round of technical vetting to be eligible to place the bids included RP-SG, the Adani Group, HT Media Private Limited, Torrent Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, All Cargo, CVC, Kotak group in a consortium and the Glazers of Manchester United through their equity firm.

Rhiti Sports, best known for being former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s management firm, also placed the bid but was dismissed at the technical stage because official believed that it was fronting for an industrialist, whose relatives already own an IPL franchise.

Similarly, little known All Cargo company attracted a lot of interest as it was understood that it had the blessings of a powerful BCCI administrator and well-connected politician of an opposition party.One of the major companies that lost out was Gautam Adani’s Adani Group which bid around Rs 5000 crore while bids of Glazers from Manchester United and Torrent Group also fell short of the mark.

Infact, Adani group’s representatives, during the bidding, were accompanied by one of the BCCI sponsors, who were then told to leave the premises as it was violation of rules.Twenty two companies picked up the tender document worth Rs 10 lakh but with base price for new teams pegged at Rs 2000 crore, only five to six serious bidders were in the final fray.Goenka’s Rs 7090 crore bid is an insane amount and possibly the highest in the history of the league.

“The bids were only going to shoot up once the news broke that the next cycle of broadcasting rights for next 10 years could go up to US$ 5 billion (Rs 36000 crore plus) which means that from BCCI’s broadcast revenue pool, each of the 10 franchises will be earning around Rs 360 crore.

“The maths is simple, the broadcast rights will increase the earnings and also the gate money for franchises in Ahmedabad (capacity of 1.2 lakh) or Lucknow (70,000) will also help them earn well. Add the money from the sponsorship pool too and it’s not bad economics.

“Goenka has been desperate to come back to the IPL after the brief stay with RPS and during one of the two editions (2017), his team played the final and lost to Mumbai Indians by one run.With a $6 billion asset base and $4 billion revenue, the Group’s businesses include power and energy, carbon black manufacturing, retail, IT-enabled services, FMCG, media and entertainment, infrastructure and education.

They have been part of Indian Super League football from the first year as ATK and later merged with legacy club Mohun Bagan last year to play as ATK-Mohun Bagan.

“The IPL has established gold standards for leagues across the world and remains a premium event on the sporting calendar as it has grown rapidly in a short span. Despite numerous challenges posed by COVID-19, the 13th and 14th seasons were completed, and the bids prove that interested parties have faith in BCCI and its hosting capabilities. I am thrilled for the people of Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat as the long wait is over and they will now have their own IPL team. My best wishes to the two new teams,” stated BCCI secretary Jay Shah.

The bid amounts of top seven companies: (All amounts in Rs crore)

1) RPSG : 7090 (Ahmedabad), 7090 (Lucknow)  4790 (Indore)

2) Irelia PTE Ltd (CVC) : 5625 (Ahmedabad), 5166 (Lucknow)

3) Adani Sportsline : 5100 (Ahmedabad), 5100 (Lucknow)

4) All Cargo : 4124 (Ahmedabad), 4304 (Lucknow)

5) Glazers (Man United) : 4128 (Ahmedabad), 4024 (Lucknow)

6) Kotak Group : 4513 (Ahmedabad), 4512 (Lucknow)

7) Torrent Pharma : 4653 (Ahmedabad), 4300 (Lucknow)

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