Bangalore: The owners of the Rajasthan Royals have agreed to sell the majority of the IPL franchise to a Kolkata-based businessman for $200 million, ESPNcricinfo has learned. However, the deal still requires the approval of the BCCI. Should it go through, it would be the first sale of an IPL franchise in the league's five-year history.
Mannoj Jain, the founder and promoter of the Jain Group of Industries, has offered to buy 88.3% of the company from three of the four shareholders in the franchise - Tresco International (Suresh Chellaram and family), which owns a 44.2% stake, Emerging Media (Manoj Badale), which owns 32.4% and Blue Water Estate Ltd (Lachlan Murdoch), the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch, which owns 11.7% - according to a person familiar with the developments.
The deal values the Royals at $226.50 million, almost three and a half times more than the $67 million the owners paid for the franchise at the original auction in 2008. Raj Kundra and Shilpa Shetty, who bought an 11.7% stake for $15.4 million in 2009, will retain their share in the team. The deal with Jain raises the value of their holdings to $26.50 million, an increase of 72% over a three-year period. News of the deal was first reported by a leading business daily on March 20.