Lalit Modi and Co may have taken a step backwards by deciding to revise the tender document for two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. But it may well turn out to be a masterstroke, especially when it comes to raking in the moolah.
The IPL Governing Council, which met here on Sunday morning before the bids for the two new franchises were to be opened, decided to do away some of the stringent clauses in the earlier tender.
As a result, the new process, which will be initiated on Tuesday and will culminate in Chennai on March 21, is likelyto attract more prospective bidders, as per experts.
For the record, only three bids were submitted for the two franchises till Saturday night. And had it not been for Jaypee Group’s late bid for an unconfirmed city, the Adani Group and the consortium led by Videocon chief Venugopal Dhoot would have walked away with Ahmedabad and Pune as the two new franchises from IPL-4. However, an industry expert pointed out that the number of bidders would obviously go up with relaxation of eligibility criteria. “From what I have been told, around a dozen tender documents were bought. I won’t be surprised if the number goes up three times when the fresh tenders are issued,” the expert, who didn’t want to be named, told HT.
“Obviously, more the applicants, higher will be the winning bid price. We were expecting the franchises to be sold between $280 and 300 million. I won’t be surprised if at least one of the two successful bids crosses the $350 million mark.”
The theory was backed by Dhoot, who had bid for Pune along with Panchshil Group head Atul Chordia and Bollywood couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
“With the new tender, we will surely revise our bid price,” Dhoot said, hinting that he will have to shell out more if he is to enter the IPL frenzy.
Some of the prominent entrepreneurs who had expressed interest in owning an IPL team, but had backed out because of the tender clauses included Sahara Group, ICICI Ventures, Hero Honda, a consortium from Kerala led by Muthoot Group, London-based Marylebone Cricket Club and film-stars Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan (who were considering a joint bid) and Salman Khan.
If the renewed tender ends up rejuvenating the IPL aspirations of some of these industry houses and bigwigs, IPL coffers will be even more rich.
Watch this space.