Mukesh Ambani-led Network 18’s venture capital arm Capital18 has informed that it is divesting its stake in cinema multiplex operator Stargaze Entertainment to Kochi-based Carnival Films. Stargaze operates multiplexes in emerging urban centers of India under the brand name of ‘Glitz Cinemas’.

Mint reports that the deal with Capital 18 is valued at Rs 90 crore and Carnival Cinemas will add 30 screens. Capital 18 also informed the BSE that the transaction will be complete this fiscal year.

Big Cinemas

This is Carnival Cinemas’ third acquisition in the past year. In December 2014, it had picked up over 250 screens from Anil Ambani-led Reliance MediaWorks’ Big Cinemas . In July 2014, Carnival Cinemas had also acquired Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) owned multiplex chain Broadway Cinemas for an undisclosed amount.

Carnival Cinemas currently operates in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh & West Bengal, has over 50 operational screens under its brand. Carnival Cinemas CEO Shrikant Bhasi told Mint that the company is looking to add 3000 screens over the next three years in India and abroad. Bhasi added that the company is looking to grow inorganically as the cost of setting up a single screen is Rs 2.2 crore and the company is looking at internal accurals and debt as a means of funding their expansion.

Other multiplex deals

In August last year, Inox had acquired 100% stake in New Delhi-based Satyam Cineplexes for Rs 182 crore. The acquisition gave Inox an entry into Delhi (and neighbouring Gurgaon, Greater Noida and Faridabad), which is dominated by PVR. Inox Leisure CEO Alok Tandon had said that they will be adding a further 156 screens over the next two years, which would take their total screen count to 514.  PVR had also acquired 69.3% stake in competing multiplex chain Cinemax for Rs 394 crore in November 2012.