Aditi Phadnis adds to the information on the Kochi franchise and its travails.
RSW got the first inkling that something was not quite kosher when they got a message that their bid should be below $300 million. They consulted among themselves and kept the bid at $333 million (Rs 1,533 crore). Sahara bid $370 million (Rs 1,702 crore). Videocon’s bid was $320 million, Adani bid $315 million. Theirs was the closest and they got the franchise.
The members wanted to pop the cork. Too early, cautioned their leader. Get the letter of franchise first. They met IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi in Delhi. The daughter of one of the ministers was present in the room. This was when suggestions were made that they should take $50 million and walk away.
The group was first amused, then flummoxed. “Suppose we walk,” asked one, “who is going to give us $50 million?”
An investment banker, was the laconic reply.
“Come on,” said the leader. “I am an investment banker. I know no one will pay this order of money.”
“A client of an investment banker,” they were told.
The group conferred among themselves and said prestige was involved. “We won’t go,” they said.
Union minister with a home in Bombay. Daughter standing in. How much clearer does it need to be?