New Delhi: The suspense is over: the Deccan Chargers IPL franchise, which dramatically turned around its fortunes and won the title in 2009, is finally up for sale.
On Thursday, the beleaguered Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited (DCHL), the owners of the franchise, came out with an advertisement in leading newspapers calling prospective buyers to bid under the aegis of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
A final decision on the long drawn issue will be taken on September 15 in Chennai, where as many as four meetings – of IPL governing council, special BCCI general body, working committee, and marketing committee — will be held to tackle all possible situations that might arise following the opening of the bids.
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It’s reported that a lenders’ consortium, led by ICICI Bank, Yes Bank and Axis Bank, has petitioned the BCCI that it should be allowed to run the franchise for at least one year, working on the principle of right to first refusal vested with the consortium since DCHL owes a reported Rs 3,270 crore from many lenders.
“We are inviting individual bidders. And if there are no bidders, we will then explore the possibility of giving Deccan Chargers’ reign to a consortium of banks that have shown interest in running the franchise. This process is Corporate Debt Restructuring mechanism,” a top BCCI official told Mail Today.
Speculation, meanwhile, is rife that Videocon and Adani Group are currently the most interested parties in bidding for the franchise. Both these giants had earlier also shown interest in buying an IPL franchise.
Jaypee Cement, who were the main sponsor of Deccan Chargers in IPL- I, were also said to be in the reckoning.
And because of that relationship, between the DCHL, the owner of the franchise, made a fervent plea Jaypee to buy the franchise. “But Jaypee has declined the offer,” sources close to the two parties said.
The tender notice says the winning bid will acquire the franchise on an “as is where is” basis and operate the team in the IPL and, if it qualifies, it will also compete in Champions League T20 from 2013.
The bid document is available at the BCCI headquarters, housed at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, from Friday on a payment of Rs 5 lakh through either demand draft or pay order in favour of DCHL. This amount is non-refundable and non-adjustable.
Parties, only those who fulfil the eligibility criteria in the Invitation To Tender (ITT), can seek clarifications from BCCI officials till 5 pm on Monday. The purchase consideration will be paid into a bank account as decided by the lending banks, with 5 per cent payable directly to BCCI. Bids can be submitted till 12 noon on Thursday at Greenways Hall, ITC Hotel Park Sheraton and Towers, Chennai, the home city of BCCI president N Srinivasan.
The bids will be opened and the winner will be announced the same day.
“If there are no buyers by September 14, the IPL governing council at its September 15 meeting will terminate DCHL’s franchise and will begin the process to look for a new franchise,” the source said.
“That’s why the sequence of four meetings is likely to be: IPL GC, marketing committee (which, if the situation demands, would start the new tendering process) and working committee, which will approve all the decisions.”
BCCI is taking care of Deccan players’ interest. “If the Deccan franchise is terminated, the BCCI will pay its players from the franchises’ common pool of approximately Rs 38 crore,” said the source.