The promoters of Kings XI Punjab, an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, have put their 93% stake on the block and have asked permission of the BCCI to sell it. Various media reports indicate that British private equity firm ISIS Equity Partners would acquire the franchise for a deal valued at around $250 million. The owners of the Mohanli franchise had bid around $76 million for the team and among the first promoters to sell out.
Incidentally, Kings XI Punjab, one of the eight operating IPL teams, is also under the tax scanner with authorities investigating alleged financial irregularities in the three-year-old T-20 cricketing league. The principal owners of Kings XI Punjab are Hindi film actor Preity Zinta, Mohit and Gaurav Burman of the Dabur family, Bombay Dyeing joint managing director Ness Wadia and Karan Paul, chairman of Apeejay-Surrendra Group.
Emails sent by VCCircle to officials and spokesperson for ISIS did not elicit a response. Text messages sent to Ness Wadia's spokesperson remained unanswered at the time of publication of this article.
Interestingly, while it was earlier learned that Zinta will not sell out, but she seems to be offloading most of her stake and retaining a 7% equity interest. She is expected to continue as the brand ambassador.
The price of the bid seems to be lower than the bidding price of the latest two new IPL entrants, which will take the number of teams to ten from next season. While the Sahara Group had bid $370 million for Pune franchise, a consortium of investors had bid $333 million for the Kochi team.