IPL, the business of big bucks and big people

IPL, the business of big bucks and big people

Little did Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner of the Indian Premier League, visualise that his disclosing of shareholders in the Kochi consortium would snowball into such a huge crisis, which has all but ensured his ouster as the all-powerful boss of the cash-ridden Twenty20 league.

Modi’s disclosure of Sunanda Pushkar’s sweat stake in the Kochi team may have led to her close friend and former minister Shashi Tharoor’s fall from grace, but the after effect of it has been equally bad for Modi. In the aftermath of Modi-Tharoor twitter spat, an embattled and embarrassed central government is going all out to get to the bottom of the financial mess of this franchise-model league and the skeletons are falling out of the closet like a pack of cards. Even as the I-T raids on franchisees’ offices across the country continue, the alleged proxy stakes of politicians and Modi are coming out in the open.

Of the eight franchisees in action, at least three - Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders - appear to be under the scanner of various financial wings of the government for their money transactions. Incidentally, all these three teams have some link to Modi. Here is a lowdown on the ownership patterns of the eight franchisees.

Nita AmbaniMumbai Indians
Owners: Indianwin Sports Pvt Ltd. Though it is a well-known fact that Reliance Industries owner Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita Ambani own the team, their names don’t figure in the list of shareholders. The company’s directors are Ashwin Khasgiwala, Ashish Chauhan and Sudhakar Saraswatula. Reliance Industrial Investment and Holdings (RIIH), Shinano Industrial Retail and Teesta Retails hold 90 per cent of the stakes in the franchise. But then both Shinano Retail and Teesta Retails are controlled by RIIH, making RIL the real owners of the team.


Vijay MallyaRoyal Challengers Bangalore:
Owners: As of now Vijay Mallya’s UB Group has 100 per cent stake in the franchise. But the team will soon be overtaken by the newly-formed UB Sports Pvt Ltd. I-T raid on the Group was conducted on Thursday.

 

T Venkattram Reddy Deccan Chargers
Owners: Deccan Chargers Sporting Ventures. Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd owns 100% stake in the side. I-T raid happened on Wednesday.


 

Delhi Daredevils
Owners: GMR Sports Pvt Ltd. Soon after the Deccan Chargers and the Royal Challengers Bangalore declared their ownership patterns after coming under the scrutiny of government agencies, Daredevils too revealed their details, according to which GMR Holdings Pvt Ltd owns 51% of total stakes. I-T raid took place on Thursday.


Shilpa Shetty and Raj KundraRajasthan Royals
Owners: Jaipur IPL Cricket Pvt Ltd.  A subsidiary of the Mauritius-based EM Sporting Holdings, JICPL is under intense scrutiny for suspected unaccounted foreign funding. The RR is also under the scanner for Modi’s suspected benami stake in the franchise. Suresh Chellaram, who holds just 45% of stakes in the side, is the brother-in-law of Modi (He is married to Modi’s wife Minal’s sister Kavita), while Emerging Media (run by Manoj Badale and a close confidant of Modi) has about 12% stake. Actor Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra also own about 12% stake. Another major stakeholder is Blue Water Estate of Lachlan Murdoch (32%), son of media baron Rupert Murdoch.

N SrinivasanChennai Super Kings
Owners: India Cements are 100% stake holders in the franchise. The VC and MD of India Cements, N Srinivasan, has been in the eye of a storm stirred by his detractors, who point out conflict of interest as he is also the secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. I-T raid conducted on Wednesday.


Preity ZintaKings XI Punjab
Owners: KPH Dreams Cricket Pvt Ltd. Ness Wadia of Bombay Dyeing, Bollywood actor Preity Zinta and Colway Investment Ltd are the majority stake holders with 23% each. Mohit Burman, part owner of this struggling team, is the brother of Gaurav Burman, who is married to Modi’s step-daughter Karima. The franchise is reportedly up for sale now. I-T raid was conducted on Friday. Gaurav is also a stakeholder in Global Cricket Venture, which has digital, mobile and internet rights of IPL.


Shah Rukh Khan Kolkata Knight Riders
Owners: Knight Riders Sports Pvt Ltd. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan has about 55% stake in the franchise, while actor Juhi Chawla and the Sea Island Ltd (run by her husband Jay Mehta based in Mauritius) hold the remaining shares. After the raids on Cricket Association of Bengal and other KKR offices on Wednesday, the tax officials claim to have found some incriminating documents that will lead them to the source of funds from the Sea Island. Mehta also happens to be the childhood friend of Modi. I-T raids took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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