The Indian cricket board is willing to drop arbitration cases against two IPL teams Rajasthan and Punjab if non-resident Indian Suresh Chellaram of the Rajasthan franchisee and Gaurav Burman of the Punjab team sell their respective shareholdings to other current partners at the original valuation of the teams when they were first established.In 2010,the board had terminated the two franchises from the Indian Premier League on charges of transgression of shareholding and ownership norms franchises were barred by agreements not to divest stake for at least three years.As a matter of practice,we do not comment on market speculation and we also cannot possibly comment on this matter as it is subjudice, said a spokesperson of the Punjab team.Later,the two teams and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sought arbitration over the termination of the teams and were allowed to participate in the T20 tournament,pending a decision in the cases.It is not known whether the two team franchisees will agree to this offer,but this would certainly pave the way for some of the owners to sell their stakes and cash out before the next IPL auctions and season kick off.In 2010,just before BCCI decided to terminate the Punjab franchise,the team was in talks with a British private equity player to sell 93% for around $250 million.The board,however,did not give its approval to sell stake in the company until investigations related to former IPL commissioner Lalit Modis involvement in the Punjab team was completed.In recent months,the Rajasthan team has been in talks with a few buyers to sell close to 90%,which includes Chellarams shares in the team,but the deals have been stuck because BCCI is yet to clear them.In its last governing council meeting,BCCI had decided that the franchises will be regularised and the arbitration process will be dropped,a senior BCCI official said,requesting not to be quoted.A Rajasthan team spokesperson said the team does not want to comment on the matter.The BCCI official said that the board is hoping to hear from the franchises and take up the issue soon,as everybody was busy with IPL 5,which concluded last Sunday.Suresh Chellaram holds the largest share (44.1%) in Mauritius-based EM Sporting Holding,which is the offshore entity that owns 100% stake in the franchise,Jaipur IPL Cricket.Other owners in the team are Manoj Badale-promoted Emerging Media with 32.4%,Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty-promoted Kuki Investments with 11.7% and Lachlan Murdoch with 11.74%.Emerging Media had acquired the franchise for $67 million,but when Chellaram bought into it,its value had risen to $140 million.There are no public records of the official shareholding structure of the Punjab team,but according to industry sources,industrialist Ness Wadia and actor Preity Zinta own around 23% each in the franchise and the rest is owned by Karan Paul of the Apeejay Surrendra Group,Daburs Mohit Burman and his brother Gaurav Burman,who have invested through Colway Investment,Mauritius.
The Story so Far…
Team Rajasthan & Team Punjab were charged by BCCI of changing ownership of the teams within three years of getting the franchise
Team Rajasthan changed its ownership structure twice, in 2008 and 2009. It says Team Punjab changed the ownership structure twice in 2008
Chellaram holds 44.1% in EM Sporting Holding,which owns 100% in the franchise.Emerging Media holds 32.4%,Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shettypromoted Kuki Investments holds 11.7% and Lachlan Murdoch owns 11.74%
Ness Wadia and Preity Zinta own 23% each in Team Punjab.Apeejay Surrendra Group’s Karan Paul,Daburs Mohit & Gaurav Burman who have invested through Colway Investment,hold the rest