Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
Lancer Capital, whose principal is Avram Glazer, a member of the family that owns a majority stake at Manchester United football club, is one of the 22 business entities to have picked up bid documents for the two new IPL franchises. The details of the franchises are likely to be announced by the BCCI next week.
Among the other notable potential bidders are Adani Group, the Ahmedabad-based infrastructure giants, the Sanjeev Goenka-owned business conglomerate RPSG, the Naveen Jindal-owned Jindal Steel, Torrent Pharma, Aurobindo Pharma, and Hindustan Times Media, along with a number of private equity companies.
The bids will be opened at a walk-in event to be held in Dubai on October 25.
The teams, which will be a part of the IPL from 2022, will have to be based in any two out of six Indian cities listed in the tender document listed by the BCCI: Ahmedabad, Cuttack, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Indore and Lucknow. While investors can bid for more than one city, they will eventually have to settle for one.
A senior BCCI official said that based on how soon the technical evaluation of the successful bids are done, the board will determine whether to announce the two new franchises and the cities on the same day or later.
According to the original timeline, the bids were meant to be opened on October 17, but it was delayed as the BCCI deferred the deadline to buy the tender twice - first October 10 and then October 20 - citing wide interest from potential bidders.
This is the first time the BCCI is adding two new franchises since Rising Pune Supergiant/s and Gujarat Lions took part in the IPL for two years - 2016 and 2017 - when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were suspended.
The BCCI is eyeing a big purse from the two new IPL teams. The BCCI has set a base price of INR 2000 crore [US$ 267 million approx.] for each of the two new franchises. One of the requirements listed in the tender document is that the bidders must show a turnover of at least INR 3000 crore [US$ 400 million approx.] for the previous three years. If it is a consortium, then each investor would need to show a turnover of at least INR 2500 crore [US$ 334 million approx.] for the previous three years.
Large numbers they might be, but some of the potential bidders have vast and diversified business interests globally. For example, on the company website, the Adani Group lists its "market cap of over USD 122.45 billion comprising six publicly traded companies". Another Indian business heavyweight, Jindal Steel & Power, has put its annual turnover at "USD 5.5 billion" on its website. Incidentally, Naveen Jindal's brother Sajjan Jindal owns Jindal Steel Works, who is the co-owner of Delhi Capitals.
This is the second time RPSG is attempting to buy an IPL franchise after owning the Pune-based Supergiant/s for two years. The group also owns teams in other franchise-based sports, including the ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League and the RPSG Mavericks in the table tennis league.