Billion-dollar brand: CSK is now India’s first unicorn sports enterprise
IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has become the country’s first sports unicorn, with its market cap touching a high of ₹7,600 crore (more than $1 billion) and its share in the grey market trading in the ₹210-₹225 price band.
The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK, which won its fourth IPL title in Dubai last year, now has a market cap more than its parent entity, India Cements. On Friday, India Cements’ market cap stood at ₹6,869 crore.
CSK’s latest IPL victory and the addition of two franchises to the league have caused the Chennai team’s market cap to surge ahead.
The Sanjiv Goenka-led RPSG Group bought the Lucknow franchise (Lucknow Super Giants) for ₹7,090 crore, while CVC Capital acquired the rights for the Ahmedabad franchise for ₹5,625 crore.
N Srinivasan, managing director of India Cements and former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said on Friday: “Brand CSK will outgrow Brand India Cements. If you look at the history of franchise-based leagues in the US, it will outgrow everything. Passion for cricket is so much in India.”
The shares of Chennai Super Kings Cricket Limited, which controls CSK, had hit an all-time high in the unlisted market on October 26 last year, surging from ₹110-₹120 to crossing the ₹220-mark in trade within a week. It brought CSKCL’s market cap to around ₹7,000 crore.