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Reliance MediaWorks sells 10% stake in Prime Focus to Standard Chartered PE


Reliance MediaWorks, Reliance Group’s media and entertainment arm, has sold about 10% stake in Prime Focus for Rs 151 crore to Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), reports Livemint. SCPE, which owned 12.23% before the transaction now owns 21.97%, while Reliance MediaWorks now owns 44.86%.

Sale of Big Cinemas
In December last year, the Anil Ambani owned company sold its chain of multiplexes Big Cinemas with over 250 screens to Carnival Cinemas. While the exact value of the deal was not disclosed, the company said that this deal would reduce Reliance Capital’s debt by about Rs 700 crore. Reliance MediaWorks would also have the option of acquiring a pre-IPO minority stake in Carnival Cinemas at a discounted price, upon eventual listing of the company. This deal did not include Reliance MediaWorks owned IMAX Wadala and other properties.

Merging with Prime Focus
In July last year, Reliance MediaWorks merged with Prime Focus. As part of the transaction, the India and overseas operations of Reliance Mediaworks’ film and media services business were combined with Prime Focus Ltd through a slump sale. For this, it was paid through a preferential allotment of 67.31 million Prime Focus shares at Rs 52 per share for a total consideration of Rs 350 crore.

Reliance Mediaworks and Prime Focus promoters Naresh and Namit Malhotra also invested Rs 120 crore each into Prime Focus through a preferred allotment at Rs 52 per share. Post this transaction, Reliance Mediaworks promoters owned 30.2% stake in the company on a fully diluted basis, while Prime Focus promoters owned 33.5% stake on a fully diluted basis.

Back in 2012, the company restructured its business under two divisions—film and media services, and exhibition. It expected to take advantage of the independent focus on the split operating unit to bring more profitability. Reliance MediaWorks also signed an agreement with a private equity fund to acquire a minority stake in the Film and Media Services division for Rs 605 crore, subject to due diligence and approvals.

Image Credit: Flickr user Kevin Dooley

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