Fresh MoU prunes sweat equity, may give new lease to Kochi IPL

Fresh MoU prunes sweat equity, may give new lease to Kochi IPL

New Delhi: Rendezvous Sports World Pvt. Ltd has reduced its shareholding in the Kochi franchise of the Indian Premier League (IPL) from the original 26% to 10%.

The 16% released has been distributed proportionally among the other shareholders, as a result of which the Anchor Group, with a 27% stake, has replaced Rendezvous Sports as the lead investor.

Mint had reported on Thursday that the shareholders in the Kochi franchise arrived at a settlement hours before a deadline set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was to expire. The lack of such of settlement could have led to the expulsion of the Kochi franchise from the popular Twenty20 cricket tournament.

Of the 10% equity with Rendezvous Sports now, only 5% is sweat equity with the investors bringing in hard cash for the rest. Earlier, the sweat equity accounted for 25% of the 26% held by Rendezvous Sports.

The governing council of IPL had directed the Kochi franchise on 10 October, asking shareholders to resolve their differences over the equity structure within 10 days or face expulsion. Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab have already been ejected from the league for alleged violations of the contract signed with BCCI.

The six investors in the Kochi franchise were Rendezvous Sports World (26%; 25% was sweat equity), Anchor Group (27%), Parinee Developers (26%), Filmwaves (12%), Anand Shyam (8%) and Vivek Venugopal (1%).

Five of the investors had come together and demanded that Rendezvous Sports dilute its holding to 10%. However, the investor refused to comply, leading to a deadlock. The officials of Rendezvous Sports did not respond to queries.

BCCI’s chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty in an interview to Mint on 20 October said: “The Kochi team has sent a response to the BCCI president (Shashank Manohar) and he is studying it. BCCI will respond in time."

Some experts believe that the extra scrutiny of franchises will augur well for the league. Indranil Das Blah, chief operating officer of Kwan Entertainment and Marketing Solutions Pvt. Ltd, said in an interview on Thursday: “The other aspect is that with the kind of scrutiny the league has come under recently, it is clear to almost all the investors in the consortium that they would have to run a transparent operation."

Gouri Shah in Mumbai contributed to this story.