CVC Capital Partners, co-chaired by Steve Koltes and Donald Mackenzie, is the Gujarat Titans owner for the 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ahead of the 2022 edition of the IPL, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the IPL Governing Council decided to add two additional teams to the tournament. The Gujarat Titans, thereby, came into existence.
With the recruitment of captain Hardik Pandya from the Mumbai Indians, as well as Shubman Gill from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rashid Khan from the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) prior to the mega auction, the Gujarat Titans have had a fantastic first two seasons, winning the title in 2022 and finishing runner up in 2023.
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But who is the benefactor of these performances? We look behind the scenes at who owns the Gujarat Titans, and break down everything there is to know about CVC Capital Partners and the Gujarat Titans owner.
Gujarat Titans Owner and Full Team Details
As with any professional sports team, there are a myriad of people working behind the scenes to make things tick. It's not just the Gujarat Titans owner who is involved in running the side – below are some of the names that fans may not know, but are just as important as the players on the field:
|Gujarat Titans Owner||Steve Koltes, Donald Mackenzie, Rolly van Rappard|
|Director of Cricket||Vikram Solanki|
|Batting Coach and Mentor||Gary Kirsten|
|Assistant Coach||Naeem Amin|
|Assistant Coach||Narendra Negi|
|Assistant Coach||Mithun Manhas|
|Spin Bowling Coach and Scout||Aashish Manhas|
|Head Physiotherapist||Rohit Sawalkar|
Though everyone of these staff members plays a role in the Gujarat Titan's camp, none have more power or influence over the franchise than the GT owner. Read on for more details about this influential position.
Who is the GT owner in IPL?
The Gujarat Titans owner is CVC Capital Partners.
CVC Capital Partners is a company that specializes in private equity and investment advice. It is based in Luxembourg and has a French connection and has around US$133 billion in assets. Since they started in 1981, they have made secured commitments totaling approximately €157 billion, which they have invested in various private equity, secondary, and credit funds across America, Europe, and Asia.
As of December 31, 2021, the funds that CVC manages or advises are invested in more than 120 companies worldwide. These companies have a large workforce, employing over 450,000 people in different countries. CVC was established in 1981 and, as of March 31, 2022, has a team of over 650 employees who work in their network of 25 offices located in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), Asia, and the Americas.
According to their website, CVC Capital Partners manages funds of more than 500 of the “highest quality, blue chip clients” from across the world.
How was CVC Capital Partners founded?
In the early 1990s, Michael Smith, who had been working at Citicorp since 1982, was leading Citicorp Venture Capital in Europe along with other managing directors named Steven Koltes, Hardy McLain, Donald Mackenzie, Iain Parham, and Rolly Van Rappard.
In 1993, Smith and the senior investment professionals at Citicorp Venture Capital negotiated a separation from Citibank to establish their own private equity firm, which they named CVC Capital Partners. In the same year, the US division of Citigroup Venture Capital also separated from the bank and formed a new company called Court Square Capital Partners. CVC had offices in London, Paris, and Frankfurt.
After becoming independent, CVC raised its first investment fund with $300 million. Now operating on their own, CVC shifted their focus from venture capital investments to leveraged buyouts and investments in well-established businesses.
CVC Capitals Partners and sports
Apart from cricket, CVC Capital Partners have also had their stake in Formula One, rugby, football and various other competitions. If reports are to be believed, the company also tried to tried to strike a deal with the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Delhi Capitals, but nothing substantial came out of it.
In August 2021, CVC Capital Partners made a significant investment of $3.2 billion in La Liga, the top-tier football league in Spain. Under the terms of the deal, CVC obtained a 10.95 percent stake in the league for a period of 50 years.
CVC has a long history of investing in the sports industry. In 1998, they acquired Dorna Sports, the company behind MotoGP, through a leveraged buyout for $80 million. They later sold it in 2006 for $473.4 million. Additionally, they invested $1.7 billion in Formula 1 in 2005 and eventually sold their shares to Liberty Media for a remarkable $4.4 billion in 2016. It's worth noting that their departure from Formula 1 was controversial, as many fans and experts accused CVC of prioritizing financial gains over the sport's well-being.
Among their current investments, CVC has acquired a 27 percent stake in Premiership Rugby for $294 million in 2018. They also hold a 28 percent stake in Pro 14 Rugby, which they obtained by investing $149 million in 2020. This year, they have invested $510 million in developmental capital in Six Nations Rugby and $300 million in Volleyball World. Furthermore, CVC has a partnership with Ligue de Football Professional, the governing body for professional football leagues in France.
Earlier this year, CVC entered into a strategic partnership with the Women's Tennis Association.
CVC Capitals controversy
When it was first announced that CVC Capitals had acquired the Gujarat Titans, some were less than impressed at the potential conflict of interest.
CVC Capital holds several sports betting companies in its portfolio, Tipico and Sisal, presenting a concerning overlap between their investments. Lalit Modi, the former IPL Commissioner, even went as far to tweet his suspicions regarding the potential corruption.
i guess betting companies can buy a @ipl team. must be a new rule. apparently one qualified bidder also owns a big betting company. what next 😳😳😳 – does @BCCI not do there homework. what can Anti corruption do in such a case ? #cricket
— Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) October 26, 2021
However, after attention was drawn to the matter, the Gujarat Titans' owners were cleared of an
y wrongdoing. The IPL team had been bought by CVC Capitals Asia fund, while the two sports betting investments had been made by the CVC Capitals Europe fund.
With the funds being run entirely independently, the BCCI were comfortable that the overlap did not pose a threat to the integrity of the IPL.
Gujarat Titans in IPL 2023
In their second season, expectations were much higher for GT. The side were pre-season betting favourites, and lived up to the bookies' numbers as well. After the round robin phase of the 2023 IPL, the Gujarat Titans sat atop the IPL table, clearly the side to beat in the playoffs. Throughout the 14 league matches they competed in, the team emerged victorious in 10 games and experienced defeat in the remaining 4.
Unfortunately for Gujarat, that's exactly what CSK did.
Finishing top of the table after the league stage and advancing to the first qualifier, GT faced second-placed Chennai Super Kings. The Titans were upset by CSK in the Qualifier 1 Final. While they were unable to win the first qualifier after the league stage, they made an impressive comeback by winning the second qualifier against Mumbai Indians to make their second successive final.
However, Chennai again had the better of GT, defeating the men from Gujarat in the Grand Final on the final ball. The contest was a thrilling match that lasted two days due to rain forcing the use of a Reserve Day, ending with GT being unable to become the second IPL team to win successive IPL titles. The original final day, May 28, was washed out by rain.
While things did not go their way at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, GT still had a season to be proud of with several outstanding players going on to cement their spots in the Indian national team.