Manmohan Shetty raises $23M from ICICI Venture for theme park

Manmohan Shetty-promoted Adlabs Entertainment Ltd has raised Rs 144 crore ($ 23 million) from private equity firm ICICI Venture for its flagship project Adlabs Imagica.

Adlabs Imagica is a theme park located in Khopoli in the Mumbai-Pune expressway and was opened in April this year. Spread over 300 acres, the theme park has around 21 rides at present and the firm is expanding the project.

It will also include a water park and a three-star/family hotel which will be operational in early 2014. The park can accommodate about 20,000 visitors daily and aims to host over 3 million visitors in the first year of operations.

Yes Bank was the financial advisor to Adlabs in the deal. AZB & Partners was the legal advisor to ICICI Venture for the transaction.

This is ICICI Venture’s first investment in the theme park entertainment space. The PE firm manages assets worth more than $2 billion across sectors. Earlier, in the entertainment space it had invested in multiplex chain PVR and has exited its investment since then.

Manmohan Shetty is better known as the founder of Adlabs Films Ltd which was acquired by Reliance Group (earlier Reliance ADAG) and is now renamed as Reliance Mediaworks Ltd.

He ventured into the theme park business after selling the previous firm.

His group includes Walkwater Media Ltd (WML) which is engaged in the business of film and television content production as well as seeding promising ventures within the media & entertainment space. It has produced/co-produced movies like Tere Bin Laden and Rajneeti. Other ventures seeded by the group include Scrabble Entertainment, which was later acquired by UFO Moviez.

In another development related to the amusement park industry in India, early this year Wonderla Holidays Pvt Ltd, which runs two amusement parks and a resort in the country, filed its documents with SEBI looking to raise over Rs 178 crore through an initial public offer (IPO).  The company is part of the group behind V-Guard Industries, which is backed by Nalanda Capital.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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