Formula One's new favourite team, Force India, may be included in a plan to offer some of the sub-continent's leading sports franchises on the Mumbai stock exchange, if plans mooted by owner Vijay Mallya come to fruition.
The multi-business tycoon has revealed that, such has been the interest in his various motorsport, cricket and soccer operations, that he is considering plans to combine them under a single umbrella for flotation in 2010.
"So many people are wanting to invest that I said 'why don't we put all the sporting assets under one company and list it?'," Mallya told Reuters
at Monza, "That's what we are working on right now. When I paid $115m or whatever it was for my cricket franchise, everybody said 'wow', but now they are talking about valuations up to $300m, so it's not a question of only a financial investor. I think a lot of people will invest because there will be a combination of prudent financial investment and passion."
As well as the Force India team, which has sprung to prominence following Giancarlo Fisichella's pole and second place in the Belgian Grand Prix and Adrian Sutil's front row start in Italy, Mallya also owns the Indian Premier League's Bangalore Royal Challengers cricket franchise and has 50 per cent stakes in Kolkata-based Mohun Bagan and East Bengal football clubs. All four could be brought together under the UB Sports banner - named after Mallya's United Breweries concern - but that little had been decided with planning at such an early stage.
"Right now, it's just past the concept stage, [and] we have advisors working on it, so it will take a few months," Mallya confirmed, "Then we need to ensure compliance and stuff like that with the securities and exchange board of India. Ultimately, the first quarter of next year should be an achievable target."