Deccan Chargers, the Hyderabad-based IPL franchise, has been officially put up for sale by its owners Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited. The sale, announced in a newspaper advertisement on Thursday, will be through a bidding process that will be completed on September 13, with the winning bid announced on the same day.
The franchise, whose owners have been facing financial problems, had approached the Indian board for help and the advertisement says the bid process will take place "under the aegis of the BCCI". The tender notice makes it clear that the franchise will continue to be based in Hyderabad and that the winning bidder will acquire the franchise on an "as is, where is" basis - implying retention of the franchise name - but leaves the possibility of a fresh franchise agreement between the new owner and the BCCI open.
Chargers, which has been reportedly mortgaged to banks, has been under pressure from its lenders to service its debt obligations. The bulk of the winning bid could go towards paying back the debt, with the notice directing the winning party to pay the consideration into a bank account as decided by the lenders. Five percent of the winning amount will have to be paid directly to the BCCI.
Deccan Chronicle had been trying to sell the whole or part of the franchise for some time now, with T Venkattram Reddy, the Deccan Chronicle chairman, telling the Economic Times recently that they were in advanced talks with potential buyers. But the deal reportedly ran into complications with some investors in the franchise asking the board to get involved.
The franchise was bought by Deccan Chronicle for $107 million in the first IPL team auction in 2008. At the time, it was the third-most expensive franchise, after Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Chargers endured a difficult 2012 IPL season, finishing at No.8, above the wooden-spoon holders Pune Warriors. They were led by Kumar Sangakkara and coached by the former Australia batsman Darren Lehmann. The other notable overseas players include Dale Steyn, Cameron White and JP Duminy. They took the IPL title in 2009, when they were led by Adam Gilchrist, but with a different group of players.