Boston: Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy has said he will consider reducing his stake in IPL team Pune Warriors, which he acquired for $370 million, and indicated there will be no infusion of additional resources in the outfit.
“We need not put any money (in the IPL team) in future. We are thinking about diluting some stake,” Roy said.
The company plans to “dilute some percentage (of the IPL team) and raise debts”, a move that makes commercial sense, he told PTI.
Roy said several companies have expressed interest in acquiring a stake in his Pune Warriors team, but Sahara Group will wait for a satisfactory alliance.
Roy also said his group is looking at more global properties, particularly in the hospitality sector. The Sahara Group recently acquired London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
He said some negotiations were going on with a few companies, but did not divulge further details.
“We will be expanding our base outside India in a big way,” he added.
Referring to the Pune Warriors, he said he was confident about his team and felt “the team is very strong”. A lot of thought has gone into the selection of the players, he added.
Roy further said as an investment, his IPL team has a good future commercially.
As India prepares to take on Pakistan in the do-or-die semi-final World Cup match, Roy is pinning his hopes on an India victory and says he is particularly happy with the way Pune IPL team captain Yuvraj Singh has been playing so far.
Roy, whose Sahara Group is the sponsor of the Indian cricket team, also expressed happiness that Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has accepted Manmohan Singh’s invitation to watch the high stakes semi-final match in Mohali on Wednesday, saying it was a “good thing” to happen.
“It is a good platform to develop a harmonious relationship between the two countries,” Roy said.
Strongly hoping for India to win the match, Roy said he was particularly pleased that Singh, the captain of his newly-formed Pune Warriors IPL team, “is playing very well”.
He said he was confident that post-World Cup, Singh’s momentum will continue through the IPL 4 matches, which begin on 8 April.
Sahara is also looking at tie-ups with Harvard University that will include visits by faculty members to interact with Sahara managers in India. Roy said his company plans to take on board around 30 MBA students from the school.
Roy delivered the key note address at the day-long India Conference organised by Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School. He spoke to students about developing confidence and leading life in a compassionate way.