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SN Gupta bags new Kochi IPL franchise for left-field consortium


SN Gupta & Co has kick-started its sports practice by advising on the $333m (Rs 1,533 crore) buy of the Indian Premier League's (IPL) new Kochi team by the Rendezvous Sports World consortium.

SN Gupta Delhi partner Amit Agarwal led the legal team for the Rendezvous consortium, assisted by M&A partners Vijay Manjrekar and Ajay Saini and associate Sumit Phatela.

Agarwal said: "It was a very interesting deal. We were representing the lead investors and at the end of the day, I was looking after the interests of all."

The Rendezvous consortium is understood to be an unincorporated joint venture of investors, which emerged as the surprise winner in the auction for two IPL teams yesterday (21 March). It has the blessing of the minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor, according to business daily Economic Times.

Agarwal said that the bid was the second major sports deal for SN Gupta and marked the start of a sports practice for the firm. "It is the second transaction we have done in the sports arena," he said, adding that the first deal was in relation to endorsement contracts of players in a sport other than cricket.

Agarwal explained that the Rendezvous advisory role had come about through an introduction by a friend.

IPL commissioner Lalit Modi was present throughout the bidding process and managed the work of the IPL's in-house legal team.

At the same auction, Sahara Adventure Sports of the Sahara Group also won the franchise for the new Pune cricket team with a record $370m.

Both new franchises are set to compete in next year's IPL. The current season of the IPL started on 12 March 2010 in India and is scheduled for 45 days.

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