Delhi-based multiplex chain Satyam Cineplexes is planning to sell a 25 per cent stake to a private equity company or enter into a strategic alliance with an investor. The idea is to raise Rs 250 crore to fund the company’s plan to ramp up the number of screens from 12 screens to 104 by 2010. An announcement to this effect is expected to be made within a month.
“We even plan to go for listing in the next three years. At present, we are focusing only on raising Rs 250 crore, either through a private equity player or by entering into a strategic alliance,” said Deven Chachra, managing director, Satyam Cineplexes.
However, he refused to disclose the name of investors the company was in talks with and said decision could be expected within a month.
The company has already entered into agreements for 65 screens in places like Gurgaon, Greater Noida, Hyderabad, Indore, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Dehradun, Mysore, Rohtak and Haridwar. Nine screens will become operational by this year-end. The investment earmarked is Rs 2-2.5 crore per screen.
Despite being based in Delhi, Chachra feels the biggest market for multiplexes today in India is in the South. The business is pegged at $ 1.6 billion and is expected to grow to $2.3 billion by 2010. Growing annually at 30-35 per cent, Tier II and III cities were primarily fuelling the growth, said Chachra.
The company also has plans to get into film distribution and production in the next year. “There has to be an integration between the various segments of the entertainment industry – be it exhibition, distribution and production. It is only natural that we, too, get into it in the near future,” said Chachra.
In 2006, PVR Ltd, too, launched its film distribution company, PVR Pictures, which recently co-produced Aamir Khan’s directorial venture, Taare Zameen Par.