India’s JSW Group, a $11 billion conglomerate with interests ranging from steel to power, is shelving plans to buy a cricket team in the highly profitable Indian Premier League, blaming the “negative aura” of the corruption-hit competition.
Some of India’s biggest corporate names are investors in teams competing in what is the world’s most lucrative cricket league — including Reliance Industries Ltd, builder GMR Infrastructure Ltd, and United Spirits Ltd , owned by British beverages group Diageo Plc.
Local media had reported that JSW, controlled by billionaire Sajjan Jindal, was in talks with Diageo to buy United Spirits’ stake in Royal Challengers Bangalore in a $100 million deal. The holding is a relic of the time United Spirits was run by flamboyant liquor baron Vijay Mallya.
“I think it’s a no at this point of time, purely based on the whole negative aura that has been generated,” said Parth Jindal, son of Sajjan Jindal and the family member who oversees the conglomerate’s sports interests.
“We don’t want our brand to be associated with a league that is so tainted at the moment.”