Indian Premier League Attracts American Investors
The Indian Premier League is drawing considerable interest from American investors, as The New York Times recently reported. RedBird Capital Partners paid 37.5 million last year for a 15 percent ownership in the Rajasthan Royals, an investment that will pay off handsomely if franchise values continue to soar.
“When we first started looking at cricket, we were by no means experts,” Alec Scheiner, a partner in RedBird, told The Times. “But the more we studied it, the more we realized it felt like the N.F.L. did 20 years ago.”
Twenty years ago, an NFL franchise could be purchased for about $700 million, far less than the $4.65 billion that the Walton-Penner family ownership group paid for the Denver Broncos this year.
RPSG Group paid $940 million in 2021 for the expansion Lucknow Super Giants of the IPL. The league’s broadcast and streaming rights sold in June for $6.2 billion over five years. On a per-match basis, only the NFL earns more the IPL from broadcast and streaming rights.
Adam Sommerfeld, a sports investment specialist at Certus Capital, calls it a “no-brainer” for private equity firms and institutional investors to buy into the IPL.
“They would be investing in by far the most popular sport in the second-most populous country in the world,” Sommerfeld told The Times. “Even if you just buy and hold, the value of I.P.L. teams is clearly going to accrue considerable value.”
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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