UFO Moviez India Ltd, a digital cinema network backed by the Valuable Group, has increased its stake in Manmohan Shetty promoted digital cinema systems provider Scrabble Entertainment by 24%, taking its total holding to 76%, reports Business Standard. The company did not disclose the amount invested in Scrabble. However, it did mention that the acquisition of the additional shares were done through simple buyout of minority shareholders, and that it does not intend to increase its holding further. UFO also mentioned that it didn’t want the original promoters of Scrabble to leave midway as their continuance would add value.
The report also quotes Rajesh Mishra, CEO of UFO Moviez, who said that the company plans to invest Rs 150 crore in the next fiscal, and increase its number of screens to 5,000, with a mix of 2K screens from Scrabble and UFO’s own screens. The company also plans to focus on International markets like the Middle East, where it has close to 650 screens.
UFO Movies is promoted by Apollo Tyres, and PE funds — 3i UK, and Providence Equity Partners, and had near to 52% stake in Scrabble Entertainment. It had earlier invested Rs 200 crore in Scrabble in September 2011.
According to its website, Scrabble Entertainment is India’s only 2K DCI Compliant Cinema deployment entity; 2K and 4K are specifications for delivery of digital cinema, finalized in 2005. Scrabble acts as an intermediary between content providers including major studios and independent distributors, and finances the cinema halls transition to digital by collecting a negotiated virtual print fee from movie distributors & producers. Scrabble offers 2D to 3D conversion of broadcasts and had previously bought to broadcast IPL matches in 3D from UFO’s sister company Crown Infotainment.