A general view of the playing field at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad (Image: Twitter/@RishabhPant17)
The Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to be a 10-team tournament from 2022, with the Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises added to the cash-rich domestic Twenty20 league on October 25.
The RP-Sanjiv Goenka (RPSG) Group bid Rs 7,090 crore for the Lucknow team, while private equity firm CVC Capital Partners (Irelia Company Pte Ltd) bid Rs 5,625 crore for the Ahmedabad outfit, whose homeground, the Narendra Modi stadium in Motera, is the world’s biggest cricket stadium..
With the Lucknow team, RPSG Group has made an IPL comeback. It owned now-defunct Rising Pune Supergaints in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. But, it is the debut of CVC Capital Partners in Indian sports that has created a buzz.
Luxembourg-headquartered CVC Capital Partners plays big—international rugby union, Formula 1 and top football properties such as Spain's La Liga.
With assets worth over $100 billion, the PE firm, established in 1981, has in recent years invested billions of dollars in multiple sporting businesses and changed the international sport.
In August, La Liga sold 10 percent of the game’s rights to CVC in a €2.7-billion deal, triggering a huge controversy.
The deal requires two-thirds support among Spain's 42 clubs in the top two divisions. Barcelona, Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao challenged the deal and opted out.
Also read: Expect Lucknow IPL team to command Rs 10,000 crore valuation in 5 years: RPSG Group's Sanjiv Goenka
In February, CVC bought into the International Volleyball Federation and announced the launch of Volleyball World.
The company is reportedly in talks to acquire a minority stake in the National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise San Antonio Spurs.
According to a Financial Times report, the CVC is looking to buy a 15 percent stake from the Holt family, which founded industrial vehicles firm Caterpillar and controls the basketball team’s parent company, Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
CVC Capital Partner is also in talks to merge the men's and women's international tennis tours and take a minority stake in it, Reuters has reported.
CVC Capital Partners has previously invested in Formula 1, Moto GP, Rugby and Bruin Sports Capital. In 1998, it had Dorna Sports S.L., the commercial rights holder for MotoGP.
The company is also a controlling shareholder of the Automobile Association in the UK.