PVR Ltd., India’s largest multiplex owner, today announced its plants to acquire DT Cinemas, the cinema exhibition business of DLF Utilities Limited for Rs 500 crore.
DT Cinemas currently operates 29 screens with approximately 6,000 seats across 8 properties in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Chandigarh. In the next 12 months, DT plans to add 10 new screens at two properties in the NCR. Currently PVR has 467 screens across 105 locations in 43 cities. Post the acquisition, PVR’s presence will increase to 44 cities with 115 multiplexes and 506 screens.
Commenting on the deal Ajay Bijli, CMD, PVR Ltd. said, "It has been our strategy to expand our film exhibition business both organically and inorganically over the years. This acquisition is in pursuance of our core strategy to offer a world class cinema experience to the discerning Indian consumer."
Ajay Bijli is credited with introducing the multiplex concept in the country in 1997 by establishing India’s first multiplex cinema, PVR Anupam, in New Delhi. Since then he has pursued both organic and inorganic route to scale up the business. In 2012, PVR acquired Cinemax, making it the single-largest multiplex firm in the country. PVR now aims to become a 1,000-screen company by 2018.
Commenting on the deal Sriram Khattar, CEO, DLF Rental Business said “We are pleased to sell DT Cinemas to PVR which is a high quality provider of cinema experience. Combining our unrelenting focus on providing a wholesome experience at our malls with PVR’s deep knowledge of the cinema business, we look forward to continue enhancing our best in class offerings for the customers.”
The multiplex business in India has seen rapid consolidation lately with a few players exiting the business. Earlier this year Cinepolis, a Mexican multiplex chain operator acquired Essel Group's Fun Cinemas. While in December 2014, a new entrant, Shrikant Bhasi owned Carnival Group acquired Big Cinemas from ADAG (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group) for about Rs 700 crore.
Last year, in July 2014, Inox Leisure announced acquisition of Satyam Cineplexes for Rs 182 crore to scale up its business. Inox today operates 365 screens at 94 properties across India.
PVR shares ended 0.20 per cent higher at Rs 666.70 apiece at NSE while DLF shares ended 0.90 per cent higher at Rs 110.80.
Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co was the legal advisor to PVR and EY India and Luthra & Luthra were financial and legal advisors respectively to DLF.