Anshu Jain, co-head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank AG, sold his stake in an Indian cricket team that is part of a lucrative league whose funding is being probed by the government.
Jain “sold his 10 percent stake in the Mumbai Indians in 2009,” bank spokesman Michael Golden said by telephone yesterday, without providing details of the sale.
The Indian Premier League, in which eight teams play a three-hour version of the traditional five-day game, has more than doubled its brand value to $4.13 billion from $2.01 billion in 2009, according to Brand Finance Plc. Manchester United, a U.K. soccer team, was valued at $1.87 billion in April 2009, while the Dallas Cowboys of the U.S. National Football League was worth $1.65 billion, according to Forbes magazine’s ranking of the world’s most valuable sports teams.
Mukesh Ambani, the world’s fourth-richest man and chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., owns the Mumbai Indians that is ranked No. 1 in the third season of the IPL. Jain sold all 15,000 shares in IndiaWin Sports Pvt., a unit of Reliance, within a short period of buying them in 2008, IndiaWin said in an e-mailed statement.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, owned by liquor billionaire Vijay Mallya, takes on Mumbai Indians in a semifinal today. The IPL final will be played on April 25.
India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee told lawmakers on April 19 that the government is investigating the funding and operation of the IPL after a minister quit the previous day over allegations he influenced the awarding of a franchise.
Shashi Tharoor, 54, a junior foreign minister and a former UN undersecretary general, resigned after dismissing opposition claims that he benefited from free shares given to a friend by Rendezvous Sports World Ltd., which heads a grouping that won a $333 million bid for a team in the southern state of Kerala. “I have done nothing improper or unethical, let alone illegal,” Tharoor told lawmakers yesterday.
IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi welcomed the government’s probe and said he will cooperate with investigators, in comments posted on Twitter Inc.
Officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India will meet on April 26 to take a “collective, unanimous decision and give future direction to Indian cricket,” Sharad Pawar, former president and federal agriculture minister, told reporters in New Delhi yesterday.