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Sunday, November 28, 2021

BCCI looks into new IPL franchise CVC Capital’s business links

A BCCI official told The Indian Express that it will take some more time for its legal team to complete due-diligence on CVC Capital Partners’ investments in betting companies.

Written by Devendra Pandey | Mumbai |
Updated: October 29, 2021 12:38:37 pm
I|PL new franchiseThe two new IPL franchises were announced on Monday evening. (Twitter/IPL)

The private equity firm CVC Capital Partners that won a Rs 5,625 crore bid to bag the new IPL franchise in Ahmedabad, but came under the cloud for their links with betting companies abroad, will have to wait until after Diwali for their fate to be decided by the Indian cricket board.

A BCCI official told The Indian Express that it will take some more time for its legal team to complete due-diligence on CVC Capital Partners’ investments in betting companies.

“The formalities haven’t yet been completed, the BCCI legal team is going through it and we are expecting them to revert us post Diwali,” a BCCI official told this newspaper. “The BCCI has full rights on whom they will allot the team, it’s the board’s discretion and we can only decide on a new IPL franchise (CVC) when the legal team reverts to us.”

If BCCI decides not to allow CVC the ownership of the Ahmedabad franchise, than the third best bidder-Adani (Rs 5,100 crores) will be next in the line to secure it.

Under the ‘portfolio companies’ list on the CVC Capital Partners’ website is Tipico, a sports betting and online gaming company, and Sisal, a betting gaming and payments, consumer/retail company. CVC did not reply to emails send by this newspaper, neither did Tipico or Sisal. The CVC has invested in Formula 1 racing, football and rugby and IPL franchise ownership will be their first entry in the Indian cricket market.

In its press release a few days ago, the Indian board had stated, “BCCI is pleased to announce the following successful bidders (subject to definitive documentation and other formalities being completed).”

Those formalities are yet to be completed, according to the board. On the day CVC won the bid, former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, had questioned the BCCI decision on allowing betting companies to buy IPL teams.

“I guess betting companies can buy an IPL team. must be a new rule. Apparently, one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next? does BCCI not do their homework? what can Anti-corruption do in such a case? #cricket,” Modi tweeted.

The IPL has already been marred by a match-fixing scandal in 2013 which eventually saw the Supreme Court to intervene, followed by complete overhaul of BCCI’s governance structure. Nine bidders had turned up for two new IPL team auction with some big names like Manchester United too showing interest. While RPSG (Sanjiv Goenka) group clinched Lucknow franchise for a record price of Rs 7,090 crores, CVC was the second- highest bidder.

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