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Rediff.com  » Business » Mukesh Ambani, DLF may bid for IPL cricket

Mukesh Ambani, DLF may bid for IPL cricket

January 17, 2008 12:14 IST

Real estate major DLF, Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Industries, cinema production and distribution company Eros International, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and Videocon Industries are believed to be readying to bid for team ownership rights in the Indian Premier League.

IPL is scheduled to start in April this year with eight cricketing teams playing against each other. The league will have 56 matches in the Twenty20 format.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India, which floated the league, has decided to sell the team rights to corporates. A team could include both international and domestic players.

However, the base price fixed by BCCI is $50 million for a ten-year period. Interested companies will have to submit their bids on January 24 and an announcement will be made on the same day.

Speaking to Business Standard, Lalit Modi, vice president, BCCI, said, "Till date, 40 corporates have bought the tender." He, however, refused to name the companies.

When contacted, the official spokesperson of DLF said, "Nothing has been decided yet." However, according to the industry, the company may bid for the Delhi team.

On the otherhand, Venugopal Dhoot, managing director of Videocon Industries confirmed the development. "Videocon Industries will bid for the Mumbai and Delhi teams and the Videocon School of Cricket will bid for the Kolkata team," he said.

Company sources in Eros also said that the board was considering bidding and was working out the financials. Jyoti Deshpande, COO & commercial director, Eros International, declined to comment.

Sources have also said that both the Ambani brothers were expected to show up for the bidding. Meanwhile, some corporate houses that bought the tender earlier are now apprehensive and may not participate in the process.

Sources say that Future Group and Bharti Airtel, which were believed to be gunning for the Mumbai and Delhi teams, respectively, are now unlikely to submit their bids.

When contacted, Kishore Biyani-promoted Future Group said, "We are reviewing it, since it involves a lot of money. We are hoping that BCCI makes the proposition a little more exciting. Going by what is offered now it is a little disheartening."

While Airtel's spokesperson declined to comment on the issue, sources close to the development said that since the corporate owns the team, it involves a continuous flow of money for team maintenance.

That apart, it needs separate expertise, which is not the core business of the corporates interested.

Aminah Sheikh in Mumbai
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