RedBird Capital Partners, a US-based private investment firm founded by former Goldman Sachs partner Gerry Cardinale, has signed a pact to buy a 15% stake in the Indian Premier League cricket franchise Rajasthan Royals.
Simultaneously, Rajasthan Royals’ majority owner Emerging Media has also decided to increase its stake in the franchise to 65% from 51%. Emerging Media is an investment vehicle of London-based Manoj Badale.
“The IPL is a dynamic league with a global audience and forward-thinking mindset regarding fan and player engagement,” Cardinale said in a statement.
Badale said the RedBird deal shows the growing popularity of the IPL. “Such an investment is testament to the global standing of the IPL and India as an attractive investment destination,” he said.
Emerging Media and RedBird didn’t disclose financial details of the transaction. They also didn’t specify if the transactions involved any primary capital infusion or secondary share purchases from existing shareholders.
However, the Business Standard newspaper cited an unidentified source as saying the deal was sealed at an enterprise value of between $250 million and $300 million.
Rajasthan Royals is one of eight teams in the IPL and had won the inaugural edition in 2008. Other IPL team owners include Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan and Reliance Industries Ltd’s billionaire chairman Mukesh Ambani.
RedBird manages $4 billion of capital principally across its core industry verticals in sports, telecom, media, technology, financial services and consumer sectors.
Prior to founding RedBird, Cardinale spent 20 years at Goldman Sachs where he was a partner of the ﬁrm and a senior leader of its private equity investing business,
RedBird’s sports investments include Fenway Sports Group, the holding company of Liverpool Football Club and the Boston Red Sox. It has also invested in French football team Toulouse and in the XFL along with Dwayne Johnson.