Kochi franchise partners in negotiations to resolve dispute

Mumbai: The various partners forming the consortium that successfully bid for the Kochi IPL franchise had a series of meetings here on Tuesday to come to a settlement and form a joint venture company that will hold the franchise rights for the cash-awash Twenty20 League.

“There were meetings this afternoon and negotiations are on. All consortium partners were present. They are having another meeting tonight,” said sources in know of the developments.

The crux of the dispute is who will run the affairs of the franchise, bought from the Cricket Board for a staggering USD 333 million, once the JV was formed.

The investors include corporate firms Anchor Earth, Parinee Developers, Rosy Blue and Film Wave – who hold 75 per cent of the equity.

The remaining 25 per cent has been given to the family of Gaekwads – Shailendra, his brother Ravi and their parents plus a few others – as free equity for services rendered in successfully bidding for the franchise, the sources said.

“The majority share holders want the minority to invest 10 per cent and get 15 per cent as (free) equity without giving up control over running the company, while the other parties to the dispute want either the CEO post or the cricketing affairs to be vested with them,” the sources said.

Earlier this month the BCCI, owning the IPL, had issued a notice to the newly-inducted Kochi team asking the partners to resolve all their internal disputes within 10 days after terminating the agreement with two other franchises – Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals – on alleged breach of the terms and conditions of the agreement.

“It was further unanimously decided to issue a notice to the unincorporated joint venture holding the Kochi franchise calling upon them to resolve all their disputes and form a company which will hold the IPL franchise rights. Accordingly, P R Raman, advocate for BCCI has been given instructions to issue all the three notices,” the BCCI said in its October 10 media statement.

BCCI president Shashank Manohar had said about Kochi that the franchise had not violated the (franchise) agreement, but was only suffering from internal squabbles.

“Kochi hasn’t yet breached the agreement. There are some internal disputes,” the BCCI chief said.


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