Mumbai : Anil Ambani’s Reliance MediaWorks (RMW) has sold its cinema exhibition (or multiplex) business to Kerala based Carnival Cinemas which is part of Carnival Group.
With this acquisition, Carnival’s screen count has reached 300, making it third after PVR (410 screens) and Inox (358 screens). tvnews4u.com reported on this transaction earlier on 10th December.
Shrikant Bhasi, chairman, Carnival Group, said: “I am thankful to Anil Ambani, the chairman of the Reliance Group, for his support to a first generation entrepreneur like me, and in facilitating this transaction with Carnival Cinemas, over other leading cinema chains.”
He said Carnival Cinemas was targeting to take its count to 1,000 screens by 2017. The transaction will reduce RelianceCapital’s leverage by approximately Rs 700 crore, through a combination of transfer of debt of RMW and infusion of cash proceeds.
The deal excludes real estate owned by RMW at IMAX Wadala and other properties, which are intended to be separately monetised for an approximate value of Rs 200 crore.
Reliance Capital will have the option to acquire a pre-IPO (initial public offering) minority stake in Carnival Cinemas at an appropriate discount, upon eventual listing of the company. The deal is the latest in the consolidation wave that has gripped the movie exhibition space in the country.
It all started with Inox taking over Fame and PVR buying out Cinemax. Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis, who entered India in 2009, took over E-City Ventures’ Fun Cinemas.
As of today, India has four national multiplex chains — PVR, the leader with screens across 41 cities, followed by Inox.
Carnival has become number three on the list after the deal with RMW, with 300 screens nationally. It had earlier this year acquired Delhi-based Broadway Cinemas.