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India’s Deccan Chronicle Loses Cricket Team After Failed Sale

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Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Deccan Chargers cricket team’s contract to play in the Indian Premier League was canceled by the Board of Control for Cricket in India after its owner, Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd., refused to sell the franchise.

The Deccan franchise, winner of the 2009 championship, owes money to players and foreign boards and Deccan Chronicle rejected an offer of 4.5 billion rupees ($83 million) in cash and an equal sum in convertible debt for the team, according to an e-mailed statement today from Sanjay Jagdale, secretary of the Board.

“The deleterious effect such conduct would have on the reputation of the IPL and the franchise itself” made the termination necessary, the board said.

Deccan Chronicle, the Secunderabad, India-based publisher of the newspaper of the same name as well as the Financial Chronicle and Asian Age, is struggling to repay debt of $919 million. The company said last month it’s facing a “liquidity crisis.”

Deccan Chronicle gained 0.5 percent to 10.85 rupees in Mumbai yesterday. The stock has dropped 70 percent this year.

The owners of Deccan Chronicle have pledged 45 percent of their stake in the company to ICICI Bank Ltd., according to stock exchange filings. Religare Finvest Ltd. said in a filing that it controls 14.5 percent of the publisher.

To contact the reporter on this story: Swansy Afonso in Mumbai at safonso2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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