Tiger Global likely to pick up stake in IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals

Tiger Global is in talks to invest around $40 million in Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Rajasthan Royals, valuing the team at $650 million.

Tiger Global likely to pick up stake in IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals

Monday May 22, 2023,

2 min Read

Tiger Global, a prominent technology-focused investor, is currently in discussions to acquire a financial stake in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Rajasthan Royals.

The New York-based firm is looking to invest approximately $40 million in Rajasthan Royals, valuing the franchise at $650 million. While the deal is said to be near completion, the capital infusion could take the form of a direct investment or backing one of the existing shareholders of Rajasthan Royals.

Rajasthan Royals' parent company, Emerging Media, is owned by Manoj Badale, a UK-based entrepreneur, who acquired the franchise rights in 2008, and currently holds over 60% ownership. This potential investment from Tiger Global comes as part of its ongoing pursuit of opportunities within the IPL, said an Economic Times report, citing anonymous sources.

In 2021, RedBird Capital, a US-based investment firm known for its involvement in professional sports clubs and assets, acquired shares in Rajasthan Royals in a secondary deal that valued the franchise at over $250 million. RedBird Capital also holds stakes in renowned sports teams such as the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball and the Liverpool football club in the English Premier League.

Tiger Global has previously invested in Dream Sports, the parent company of popular online fantasy gaming platform Dream11. This move into the IPL franchise space aligns with Tiger Global's interest in the sports economy, which has seen significant support from institutional funds in sporting leagues across the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe.

However, the trend of private equity firms investing in Indian sports franchises is just beginning to gain momentum. In 2021, CVC Capital Partners, a UK-based private equity firm, became the first of its kind to acquire an IPL team, securing the rights to the Ahmedabad-based franchise Gujarat Titans with a bid of Rs 5,625 crore.

According to a report by consulting firm D and P Advisory, the valuation of the IPL franchise reached $10.9 billion in 2022. This represents a substantial 75% growth in dollar terms since 2020 when the valuation stood at $6.2 billion. In terms of Indian rupees, the growth translates to 90%.

Edited by Megha Reddy