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Eros Considers India Listing; $52Million Film Revenues, $27.7 Million; B4U Stake

Eros is pursuing the option of listing its domestic operations in India, in order to raise capital for its India expansion plans. For the London (AIM) listed Eros International PLC, India revenues accounted for $81.1 million of its overall FY08 turnover of $113 million. The companys turnover was up 70.2 percent from $66.4 million in FYO7, while India revenues grew 75.2 percent.

View: Financials (pdf) and Press Release

Films: The growth was driven by a significant increase in the number of films released by Eros globally – 16 of a total of 18 films, up from 4 global releases the previous year. Worldwide theatrical revenues accounted for $52.1 million of revenues. Eros has invested over $200 million across 60 projects, which should keep the films coming till 2010. Add to this Ayangaran, in which Eros had acquired 51 percent, which is planning to release 30 projects over the next two years.

The company also signed syndication deals with SET, INX, Viacom and Sahara, with TV syndication accounting for $33 million in revenues, up from $21.1 million in 2007. What’s interesting is that these are limited telecasts on a non-exclusive basis with various channels, with Eros retaining the copyright after the limited license period. This helps syndication revenues in 2009, according to Eros.

Acquisition of 24 Percent Stake In B4U
Eros exercised its option to buy 24 percent stake in B4U. Interestingly, Eros did this via an acquisition of Acacia Investments Holdings, which is owned by a discretionary trust of which Eros CEO & Chairman Kishore Lulla is amongst the beneficiaries, alongwith Vijay Ahuja and Sunil Lulla. Acacia in turn owns 24 percent of LMB Holdings, which, through its subsidiaries, operates two channels B4U Music and B4U Movies. Appears to be an internal deal, with the company buying the stake in B4U from the Chairman, though as per the filing, the directors of Acacia or Eros do not have any involvement in the management of LMB.

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Revenues from this segment were at $27.7 million – an increase of $4 million from $23.7 million in 2007. This, despite Eros having signed new deals with Cablevision, Valuable Technology, Mauritius Telecom, SingNet, RTM Malaysia and Aksh Optifibre (for IPTV), as well as distribution deals with Amazon and Walmart. Eros now has 10,000 ComCast subscribers. The NRI market for home video declined, along expected lines. There’s a mention of 42 million page views on Eros’ YouTube page, but nothing on how much revenue they’re making from it. EyeQube, the VFX studio which they launched currently employs 130 people.

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