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Warburg Pincus invests Rs 820 crore in PVR Cinemas for 14% stake

Private equity firm Warburg Pincus has acquired 14% stake in PVR Cinemas for Rs 820 crore, through an open market transaction, reports the Mint. The firm purchased 9% stake from existing investor Multiples Alternate Asset Management, and the rest from other promoters including chairman and managing director of PVR Ajay Bijli.

PVR will use the funds for further expansion. As of now the cinema chain operates 562 screen across 122 properties in 48 Indian cities. It’s not clear how the company plans to expand, but if the past is any indication, it will continue to acquire competition to expand its own base. In 2015, PVR had acquired DLF Group‘s non-core business DT Cinemas on a slump sale basis while back in 2012, the company acquired 69.3% stake in competing multiplex chain Cinemax.

Note that in May last year, PVR reported a ten-fold increase in profit after tax to Rs 119.27 crore for FY16 from Rs 11.64 crore in FY15. It recently also partnered with comScore to measure box office results, and had tied up with Paytm to facilitate movie ticket booking last year. The company has been selling tickets on BookMyShow since 2013.

Consolidation in cinema multiplexes

Over the past few years, various acquisitions have consolidated the cinema multiplex sector in India. In 2015, Mexican multiplex operator Cinepolis acquired all 83 screens of Essel Group’s Fun Cinemas in India, while Mukesh Ambani-led Network 18’s venture capital arm Capital18 informed that it would divesting its stake in cinema multiplex operator Stargaze Entertainment to Kochi-based Carnival Films. In 2014, INOX had acquired 100% stake in New Delhi-based Satyam Cineplexes, while Carnival Cinemas had acquired Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) owned multiplex chain Broadway Cinemas

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