Mumbai : The Consolidation of Multiplex business which started off during 2014 is continuing its run in 2015 headed by Carnival films ambitious acquisition plans.
Carnival Films Pvt. Ltd, backed by commodity trader Shrikant Bhasi, has agreed to buy multiplex company Stargaze Entertainment Pvt. Ltd from a unit of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Network18 Media and Investments Ltd for an undisclosed amount, barely a month after it bought the Anil Ambani-controlled Big Cinemas.
Stargaze operates multiplexes in emerging urban centres of India under the brand name Glitz Cinemas. The acquisition will give Carnival 30 additional screens, said P.V. Sunil, chief executive officer of the Kochi-based company.
Network 18 Media and Investments Ltd, on Thursday said its venture capital unit, Capital 18 has sold nine operational screens in Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and UP and one non-operational screen.
Network 18 has sent a brief notice to the exchanges. The latest acquisition takes the Carnival group ,which has over 300 screens, closer to their top competition PVR which still leads at 462 screens.
Around two weeks ago, the Shrikant Bhasi-led Carnival acquired Big Cinemas for around Rs 700 crore and with this deal Network 18 also has exited the Multiplex business completely.
Shrikant Bhasi in has commented earlier during the acquisition of BIG Cinemas said that ”Carnival Cinemas was targeting to take its count to 1,000 screens by 2017”.
Bhasi, 46, chairman of Carnival Group, said India has only 11,500 screens for a population of 1.3 billion while China has over 25,000.
“There is indeed a big space for us. Moreover, scale gives us reach and better bargaining power,” said Bhasi, who has also acted in Malayalam movies.
Carnival CEO Sunil said the acquisition would give his company 30 more screens, three of which are under construction, in places where it currently doesn’t have a presence.