Who Are RPSG And CVC Capital Partners, Owners Of The New IPL Teams?

The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and Irelia Company Private Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) have won the ownership rights of the two new IPL franchises

The RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group and Irelia Company Pte Ltd. (CVC Capital Partners) have won the ownership rights of the two new Indian Premier League franchises the BCCI announced on Monday.

The RPSG group bid Rs 7090 crores (approx $930 million) for a team based in Lucknow while CVC, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg, bid Rs 5625 crores (approx $749 million) for a team based in Ahmedabad. For context, Mukesh Ambani had placed the highest bid of $112 million for the rights of the Mumbai-based team in 2008.

22 parties had picked up tender documents with the BCCI putting the base price of the new teams at Rs 2000 crore. Among the interested companies included billionaire Gautam Adani's Adani Group, Lancer group, which owns English football club Manchester United, Kotak group, pharmaceutical giants Aurobindo Pharma and Torrent group.

The Ahmedabad-based team is expected to be based out of the 132,000 capacity Narendra Modi Stadium while the Lucknow team will play their home matches at the 50,000 seater Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium.

Who are RPSG Group?

The RPSG group is a conglomerate based in Kolkata. Led by Sanjiv Goenka, RPSG has assets in power, retail, IT, FMCG, Media, infrastructure and sports.

RPSG owns Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) which is the sole electricity supplier in Kolkata. It supplies power in NOIDA through Noida Power Company Limited (NPCL) in a joint venture with Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority.

Popular brands under RPSG include Saregama India, Open magazine, Fortune India, Spencer's Retail, Nature's Basket, Woodlands Hospital.

This is not RPSG's first foray in the IPL. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons, the group owned Rising Pune Supergiant and even made it to the final of the 2017 season only to lose to Mumbai Indians.

RPSG are also a majority owners of ATK Mohun Bagan FC, the Indian Super League football clubbed which was formed after the merging of Mohun Bagan and ATK FC in 2020. RPSG also own RPSG Mavericks Kolkata, a franchise team in the Ultimate Table Tennis league.

CVC Capital Partners

CVC Capital Partners is a private equity firm headquartered in Luxembourg with a main office in London. According to their website, CVC manages funds from over 300 investors across the world and has investments in at least 37 countries. The firm has stakes in businesses such as Acronis, Breitling, Fidelis Insurance and Theramex.

The firm has invested in two companies which have a footprint in India — HealthCare Global Enterprises, a cancer-care provider headquartered in Bengaluru, and UnitedLex, a legal services outsourcing firm.

CVC has a chequered past when it comes to sports. The firm had a majority stake in Formula 1 between 2006 and 2017 when it was accused of focusing solely on gaining profits and not investing for the development of the sport.

The then deputy team principal of Force India, Bob Fernley described CVC's relationship with F1 as ,"All their actions have been taken to extract as much money from the sport as possible and put as little in as possible."

The firm paid approximately £1.4bn for its majority stake in F1 and sold it for $4.4 billion in 2016 while earning $4.4bn during their 10-year ownership.

In August 2021, Spain's football league LaLiga approved a $3.2 billion investment from CVC. According to the deal, CVC would receive 11 per cent of TV rights revenue over the next 50 years in exchange for investing in LaLiga.

The deal has been opposed by football giants Real Madrid, Barcelona as well as the Spanish football federation. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao announced a legal challenge against LaLiga's deal with CVC.

CVC currently has stakes in four sports and media companies including the Rugby Union league of England and the United Rugby Championship.

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