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Adlabs Restructures: Big FM Demerged, Digital Cinema Div Transferred, Media BPO


Reliance ADAG company Adlabs Films has received the green signal from the I&B ministry to transfer its radio division BIG 92.7 FM to Reliance Unicom, the company has informed the BSE. Adlabs has also attempted to streamline and simplify its film business by dissolving Entertainment One India, the subsidiary which produces, invests in and markets Indian feature films, into the parent company. It will also transfer the digital cinema division of its wholly owned subsidiary Mukta Adlabs Digital Exhibition to Adlabs.

Shuffle To Enable More Fund Raising Options

Adlabs had received 45 licences for FM radio broadcasting in the country and had entered into agreements with Prasar Bharti (Doordarshan). In the December quarter, Big FM posted losses of Rs. 85.5 million over revenues of Rs. 498.7 million. The decision to transfer its radio business to Reliance Unicom has been made to bring more financial flexibility to it. The legal document (pdf) explaining the rationale behind the amalgamation says this will enable the shareholders of Adlabs and Reliance Capital to hold shares directly in RUL so it will have various fund raising options for its business. Reliance Capital owns 3.15% stake directly in Adlabs and 51.76% through its affiliate Reliance Land Pvt Ltd.

So while all of Entertainment One India Ltd will be dissolved without being wound up, only the digital cinema division of Mukta Adlabs will be transferred to Adlabs – the rest of the business will continue to be run by Mukta Adlabs. The digital cinema division is supplying prints to PVR, Inox and Fun screens.

Film production and distribution logged profits in the December quarter as did film facilities but exhibition business posted losses of Rs. 40.1 million.

Media BPO

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Adlabs has also set up a media outsourcing business that will employ 1200 employees who will work on digital restoration and content processing. It currently has 300 workers and has bagged a restoration project from National Film Archive of India, a media unit of the I&B ministry.

More On Adlabs

Adlabs has processing facilities in Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and claims 60% share of film processing market in western India. Adlabs operates Big Cinemas, a theatre chain which runs 34 cinema screens in 9 multiplex complexes. Adlabs also owns television programming house Big Synergy.

Its studio in Los Angeles – Lowry Digital – worked on fine-tuning images in the Oscar winning movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and worked on restoring George Lucas’ Star Wars: Phantom  Menace & Disney’s Snow White in the December quarter.

Adlabs’ film services division has expanded its operations to cover film cameras, and is offering premium services in TV broadcasting. Its studio division will be operational in phases from October 2009, and is setting up  7 sound stages in Film City Mumbai. It is gearing up to support both film and TV content.

Updated with more on Adlabs, added link to Big FM.

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