Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot confirmed on Thursday that his conglomerate was in the running for the Punjab team of the Indian Premier League cricket, adding a determined corporate push to the hot sporting event that is both courting and generating big money on the back of mass television audiences.
V.C. Digital Solutions, a Dhoot company, had bid $320 million (Rs 1,742 crore) in the auction of two new teams earlier this year, but lost out to competitors.
“We are interested in an IPL team,” Dhoot told Hindustan Times. “We also participated in the bids. We are currently in discussions for Kings XI Punjab team.”
Industry sources said the four promoters of the Mohali-based club are asking for $300 million (Rs 1,380 crore) and could cash out as soon as IPL’s third season ends later this month.
However, Dhoot said he has not yet decided how much equity he would buy. “We may buy part equity or we may go for the controlling stake. We have not yet decided the price.”
Dabur group scion Mohit Burman, Apeejay Surrendra group’s Karan Paul, Bombay Dyeing's Ness Wadia and actress Preity Zinta had come together in 2008 to form a consortium to buy Kings XI Punjab for $ 76 million (Rs 350 crore).
Burman had denied any plans to sell the promoters’ stake in the Punjab team. “Not true,” he told HT.
If the tag of $300-million comes good, the original investors are set for a windfall gain of three-to-four times their original investment in the business that attracted comparable valuations in bids for new teams.
The exact break-up of the current stakeholders is not known, but sources who did not wish to be identified, said Paul, Burman and Wadia together hold about 90 per cent and Zinta 10 per cent.
But IPL rules bar any promoter from selling their entire stake in the first three years.