RPT-Cricket-RedBird acquires 15% of IPL Royals capital

(Repeats to additional subscribers, no change to text) MUMBAI, June 24 (Reuters) – Private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, which owns interests in parent company Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox, has taken a 15%


(Repeats to additional subscribers, no change to text)

MUMBAI, June 24 (Reuters) – Private investment firm RedBird Capital Partners, which owns interests in parent company Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox, has taken a 15% stake in Indian cricket franchise Premier League Rajasthan Royals for an undisclosed amount.

The Royals won the inaugural edition of the popular tournament, which is played in the sport’s shortest Twenty20 format, in 2008 and is majority owned by investment firm Emerging Media of London-based venture capitalist Manoj Badale.

Emerging Media and RedBird, which is founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Gerry Cardinale, announced the acquisition of the stake on Thursday in a joint statement, but did not disclose financial details of the transaction.

“The IPL is a dynamic league with a global audience and a forward-thinking mindset regarding fan and player engagement,” Cardinale said in the statement.

A source close to the deal put the franchise’s enterprise value at between $ 250 million and $ 300 million.

Badale said the Redbird deal was an illustration of the popularity of the IPL.

“Such an investment is testament to the global position of IPL and India as an attractive investment destination,” Badale said.

The eight-team IPL features celebrity owners, including big names in business and Bollywood, and draws the biggest names in world cricket to a nation dedicated to the sport.

TV and digital rights to the tournament, which runs for approximately two months during a regular window in April-May, have been awarded 163.48 billion rupees ($ 2.20 billion) to STAR Sports for a period of five years from 2018 to 2022.

Like most other businesses, IPL’s finances were hit by the COVID-19 pandemic last year when the Indian Cricket Council had to host the event in the United Arab Emirates.

According to financial consulting firm Duff & Phelps, the value of the IPL brand fell 3.6% to $ 6.19 billion last year due to the pandemic.

Rajasthan also saw its brand value drop by more than 8% in 2020 to 2.49 billion rupees.

Emerging Media also said in the statement that it separately increased its stake in the franchise to 65%, from 51%.

The Redbird deal is the latest example of private equity firms actively considering sports teams as avenues for investment.

RedBird also recently took a minority stake in Fenway Sports Group, which owns the English football team Liverpool and the Red Sox baseball, XFL, and they are also the majority owner of the French football team Toulouse.

$ 1 = 74.2425 Indian rupees Edited by Peter Rutherford