Deccan Chargers’ sale murmurs back in circulation

The buzz around Indian Premier League’s (IPL) Hyderabad franchise, Deccan Chargers, going on sale has grown louder over the last couple of weeks.

The prime suitor for the team, a 100 % subsidiary of Deccan Holdings, is said to be Ahmedabad-based Adani Group, which had bid for the Pune franchise in the 2010 team auctions.

An official close to the development, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that Deccan has been open to the idea of sale for quite some time now.

“As a group primarily involved in the business of media and publication they have been doing well in the south of India. In such a thriving scenario, it was becoming difficult for them to manage another business and hence the decision to sell.”

When contacted by TOI, the Deccan Chargers’ director of operations, Venkata Reddy denied the development. “There is no truth to it, it is all being planted in the media,” he said. An Adani Group spokesman too toed a similar line, saying, “we don’t comment on rumours and speculations”.

Deccan Chargers, having won the 2009 edition of the tournament in South Africa, have been a fairly successful franchise in the IPL. Even in the 2010 edition, they made it to the semifinal stage. However, while doing so, they were continuously dogged by off-the-field controversies.

“If you note, this is not the first time that such a rumour (of Deccan going on sale) has come up. However, this time they are not looking to dispose off a stake in the franchise like it had been reported in the past. The franchise is a 100 % subsidiary of the group and they’re looking to part with it entirely,” the official said.

Since Deccan Chargers happen to be a 100 % subsidiary of the Deccan Holdings group, a pre-approval from the IPL governing council to sell the franchise remains just a formality.

“The only issue here is that if a sale takes place, five percent goes to the BCCI-IPL kitty. Because Deccan group owns 100% of the franchise, they can go ahead and sell a part or the entire franchise whenever they want, especially because there is no foreign holding in the company,” the official said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Adani Enterprises, involved in coal mining and power generation, on Tuesday launched a share sale to institutional investors to raise up to $850 million. The issue will close on Wednesday and an official informed that “if there is any truth to the rumour linking the Adani Group to Deccan, it should be out in a couple of days.”

However, an official in the Adani camp denied that there was anything to be read in the share sale as far as the rumour of a Deccan deal is concerned. “We’ll get back in case there’s anything but as of now, there’s no such development,” he said.

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