The Videocon Group, an Indian conglomerate, has expressed interest in buying Deccan Chargers from its owners Deccan Chronicle, the first potential buyer to openly declare its position. The franchise had formally been put up for sale on Thursday with the owners in the middle of well-publicised financial issues.
Videocon have wanted to own an IPL team for a few years now, having lost out to the Sahara group in bidding for the Pune franchise in 2010. "We are interested and will place our bids for buying out Deccan Chargers," Venugopal Dhoot, the chairman of the electronics-to-energy Videocon Group, told the Times of India. "It's a good fit for our brand and will be used to connect to our consumers."
Another report quoted Dhoot as saying he would bid around Rs 700 crore [approx $126mn]. Chargers was bought by Deccan Chronicle for $107mn in the first IPL team auction in 2008, which made it the third-most expensive franchise, after Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore, at the time.
Bidding for Chargers, under the aegis of the BCCI, closes on September 13, with the winning bid to be announced on the same day. The notice inviting bids states that the franchise will continue to be based in Hyderabad. Dhoot, however, was quoted in the Business Standard as saying that if Videocon make the winning bid, they would like Chargers to be shifted to Ahmedabad, if the BCCI allows it.
Deccan Chronicle are facing pressure from their lenders, having also mortgaged Chargers to banks as security against debts, and have had to put the franchise up for sale to raise funds. They had been trying to sell the franchise, in whole or part, 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 faced complications, with some investors in the franchise asking the board to get involved.