reliance: Reliance firm invests $11.2 million in South Africa and UAE T20 teams


Reliance Strategic Business Ventures (RSBVL), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, has infused equity worth $11.24 million (₹93 crore) in its overseas subsidiaries, which own franchises in the South African and UAE T20 cricket leagues, as per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data on outward foreign direct investment (FDI) from India.

South Africa-incorporated India Mumbai Indians Pvt Ltd owns the Cape Town franchise in SA20, the franchise-based T20 league launched by Cricket South Africa. Indiawin Sports Middle East Limited, which has been incorporated in UAE, owns the MI Emirates franchise.

As per RBI data, RSBVL has invested equity worth $6.246 million in India Mumbai Indians Pty Ltd in November and $5 million in Indiawin Sports Middle East in October. All six franchises in SA20 are owned by the IPL franchise owners.

Apart from Reliance, the other franchise owners in SA20 are RPSG Sports, India Cements, Rajasthan Royals, JSW Sports, and Sun TV Network. CSA owns a 57.5% stake in SA20 followed by sports broadcaster SuperSport which owns 30%. Former Indian Premier League (IPL) COO Sundar Raman holds a 12.5% stake in the league.

The IL20 has been established by Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) under the auspices of its Chairman Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan. Billionaire Gautam Adani also owns the Gulf Giants franchise in the league.

Three out of the five teams in IL T20 are owned by IPL franchises. Besides Reliance, Shah Rukh Khan-owned Knight Riders and GMR Group co-owned Delhi Capitals have bought Abu Dhabi Knight Riders and Dubai Capitals, respectively.

A recent D and P Advisory report noted that there is a growing trend of IPL franchise owners buying teams in international T20 leagues. The report added that there are many synergies in owning multiple teams across leagues.
Owning teams in non-IPL cricket leagues, it said, helps a team to achieve economies of scale by creating operational efficiencies and fungibility of support and coaching staff across leagues.

It added that ownership of teams in global T20 leagues helps sustain fan engagement throughout the year.



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