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Ahmedabad And Pune Take Lead In IPL 4 Bids

By on March 7, 2010

The Adani Group, based in Ahmedabad, and the Dhoot family of Pune are likely to be the highest bidders for the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises up for sale.

Gautam Adani, the 48-year-old chairman of the trading and export company, whose personal wealth is believed to be valued
at $6.7b, has bid for the Ahmedabad franchise. Highly placed sources said the bid is in the $260-280m range.

TOI had first reported the interest shown by Adani, when he said “if it is Ahmedabad, I’ll be bidding for it.” The floor price for prospective bidders has been kept at $225m, which in turn suggests that the Adani Group is likely to offer a bid 25% higher.

Essar Group, a multinational conglomerate managed by the Ruia family has shown interest in investing in a personal stake along with Adani. But TOI has learnt that the Adani Group has been contemplating an individual bid. Pune-based industrialist Adar Poonawala and actor Abhishek Bachchan are also being speculated about as bidders but this could not be confirmed. Pune, the other likely contender, is most likely to be bought by the Dhoot family, which owns Videocon.

The Ahmedabad-based Adani group and the Dhoot family of Pune, owners of Videocon, are frontrunners for the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises up for sale, with the idea behind roping in Ahmedabad also being seen as part of the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ project.

“The plan is part of the ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ project,” a highly placed source said. ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ is a government organised investor summit to understand and explore business opportunities in Gujarat, an idea backed by chief minister Narendra Modi.

Videocon is one of the largest manufacturers of electronic consumer goods. The company’s 59-year-old chairman Venugopal Dhoot, based out of Pune, is an avid cricket fan. He launched the Videocon School of Cricket in Kolkata, which runs under the guidance of former India captain Sourav Ganguly and trains and promotes young cricketers of India in the age group of 10 to 17.

The bid is not likely to exceed $260m and is expected to have personal stakes of two separate parties involved. To Dhoot’s advantage, the new stadium coming up in Pune city – on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway – is likely to be completed and available for play by March 2011. “I wouldn’t like to comment on speculation,” Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) president Ajay Shirke said when asked to comment.

Meanwhile, it should be mentioned here that both the new franchisees are most likely to have their respective states’ political backing too. Nagpur, another prospective venue that was being speculated as a favourite to host an IPL franchise, is now out of the race.

Other prospective bidders who had bought the tender include the Muthoot Group from Kerala backed by film director Priyadarshan and actor Mohanlal, the Jaypee Group, Sahara and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) from London among others.

Meanwhile, as reported by TOI, the bidders will have to provide a bank guarantee of Rs 460 crore (approx $100m) as bid performance guarantee at the time of submitting the bid.

If the bid is successful, the winning bidder will have to further produce a bank guarantee of an amount up to or including the total bid amount. Following that, the bid performance guarantee of Rs 460 crore will be returned.

Source: Times Of India.

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