The company that Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli invested in in February 2019 is the official kit sponsor and merchandise partner of the MPL Sports Board of Control for India (BCCI). Here the question of conflict of interest may arise. Virat Kohli was allotted Compulsory Convertible Debentures (CCD) of Galactus Funware Technology Pvt Ltd for Rs 33.32 lakh. Bangalore-based Galactus owns the Mobile Premier League (MPL) and the brand ambassador of MPL is Virat Kohli. Galactor is a subsidiary of M-League Pte Ltd, a company registered in Singapore in April 2018.
On 17 November 2020, BCCI announced MPL Sports as the new kit sponsor and official merchandise partner of the Indian cricket team. This agreement is for three years. Under this agreement, apart from the Indian men’s and women’s cricket team, the Under-19 team will wear the jersey of MPL. Currently, the Indian cricket team, which has gone to Australia, is playing cricket wearing the logo of MPL Sports, an affiliate of MPL. Apart from the licensed jersey, MPL Sports will also have the right to sell other Team India merchandise. Kohli was made the brand ambassador of MPL in January 2020. Even before that he had advertised the gaming platform.
After 10 years, Kohli will get equity shares of the company
According to the Indian Express, 68 CCDs with a face value of Rs 10 have been issued to Virat Kohli at a premium of Rs 48,990, with a total value of around Rs 33.32 lakh. These CCDs will be converted into equity shares at the end of 10 years and the conversion ratio will be 1:1 i.e. for one debenture, Kohli will get 1 equity share. In this way Kohli will have 0.051 percent stake in the company after ten years.
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this is the whole matter
According to the news of the Indian Express, on February 5, 2019, when Kohli was issued CCDs, Galactus also issued 34 CCDs worth Rs 16.66 lakh to Cornerstone Sport LLP. Cornerstone CEO Amit Arun Sajdeh is an associate of Kohli in two limited liability partnership firms – Magpie Venture Partners LLP and Virat Kohli Sports LLP. Apart from this, there is another link between Sajdeh and Kohli.
Sajdeh is the Director of Cornerstone Sport & Entertainment Pvt Ltd and it manages the commercial rights of Kohli. Apart from this, it also manages the commercial rights of KL Rahul, Rishabh Kant, Umesh Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Shubham Gill. Speaking to The Indian Express, Sajdeh said that Virat Kohli and Cornerstone are free to invest in any business and as long as Kohli does not invest in Cornerstone, there is no case of conflict of interest.
BCCI was not aware
According to a top BCCI official, the Indian board was not aware of Kohli and Cornerstone’s stake in the MPL and the board should not be expected to track the investments of its players. Another BCCI member said that Kohli is an influential figure in Indian cricket and this type of interconnection cannot be said to be good for good governance.