Mumbai : Mexican multiplex chain Cinepolis, which had entered India in 2009, has completed the acquisition of Fun Cinemas, the multiplex chain owned by Shubhash Chandra’s Essel Group through E-City Ventures. According to sources in the know, the deal for Fun Cinemas’ 83 screens in the country is valued at Rs 480 crore.
With this acquisition, Cinepolis’ presence in India increases from 110 screens to 193 screens. Of the 24 properties (multiplexes) that Fun Cinemas operates, 16 are owned by it and eight are on a franchise basis.
Cinepolis did not respond to queries sent by Business Standard, while a Fun Cinemas executive refused to comment on the deal.
Earlier last week, Cinepolis India Managing Director Javier Sotomayor communicated the news of the acquisition to the employees of Fun Cinemas and welcomed them to the Cinepolis family. He stressed on the importance of the deal for both the companies. “Together, we will leverage synergies of costs and economies of scale in our operations across the country. We must strive to support each other in the challenging task of integrating both the companies in terms of people, processes & systems. As we work upon detailed plans & timelines for the integration, we would continue to function like every other day,” he wrote in a mail to employees.
Cinepolis currently operates in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Hubballi, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Mangaluru, Mumbai, Patna, Pune, Surat and Thane. It has 18 screens in Gujarat. According to reports, the multiplex chain plans to invest around Rs 1,200 crore to increase its screen count in the country to 400 by 2017.
Cinepolis wants to be present in all big cities, including the National Capital Region, and add screens in Tier-II and -III cities.
This acquisition is part of a consolidation phase that the Indian exhibition industry is going through. Earlier this year, Inox Leisure had acquired all 38 screens of Delhi-based Satyam Multiplex, to take its total screen count to 358 screens across 91 multiplexes in 50 cities.
This consolidation wave had started a couple of years ago, with two major mergers — Inox and Fame Cinemas, and PVR and Cinemax. Experts believe the wave will continue after the Cinepolis-Fun Cinemas deal and the next big acquisition could be that of Big Cinemas. Sources reveal that the Anil Ambani-owned multiplex chain, on the block for almost a year now, is in an advanced stage of talks with Carnival Cinemas.