Indiabulls has entered the gaming business by picking up a 10 per cent stake in High Street Cruises & Entertainment.
High Street Cruises, which recently took over Pune-based Victor Hotels, is owned by Jiadev Modi-promoted Arrow Webtex.
The deal involves a swap of shares whereby High Street Cruises acquired 100 per cent of Victor Hotels and Motels from Diana Buildwell, a wholly owned subsidiary of India Bulls. In exchange, the financial services to real estate conglomerate got a 10 per cent stake in High Street Cruises.
However, when contacted, Indiabulls CEO Gagan Banga said he had little knowledge of the deal.
India's gaming industry is poised to touch $450 million (Rs 1,800 crore) by March 2009. Currently the gaming industry is just about Rs 21 crore. This growth is expected to be made possible by increasing internet penetration and entry of industry houses into online gaming, according to a Nasscom study.
Besides Indiabulls, Reliance ADA has plans to enter the gaming industry. The company recently launched its online gaming portal Zapak.com and is scouting for acquisitions in the sector. Last month, the promoters of London-based India-focused investment bank Euromax Capital, along with Italian billionaire dealmaker Alessandro Benedetti, acquired Nextra International, one of the largest gaming companies in the world. Nextra plans to enter the Indian and Chinese mobile gaming markets.