PVR Ltd, the country’s largest multiplex chain operator, has joined hands with North-based real estate group Vatika to jointly develop 26 multiplex screens across three townships of the developer, the company said in a statement.
The townships called Vatika India Next, Vatika Infotech City and Vatika City Central are located in Gurgaon, Jaipur and Ambala, respectively. The multiplexes will be developed at an investment of Rs 300 crore, to be jointly invested by Vatika and PVR.
The three multiplexes will throw up a seating capacity of 5,000 and are expected to be operational by Q4 FY19.
Ashwani Handa, chief development officer, PVR Ltd, said, “The locations in all these cities are very promising in terms of developing infrastructure and being hubs of the real estate sector. These markets readily provide us with patrons who believe in experiencing cinema in a refined format. Through this association we expect to increase our reach to newer audiences.”
Attempts to reach out to Handa, on whether this is a one off deal or PVR intends to strike such partnerships for future expansion, did not elicit any response till the time of filing this report.
Till now PVR has been setting up multiplexes on its own where the property is leased by standalone malls or other property owners. In the past it has sold some of the properties it owned and then sealed a lease-back agreement to go asset light.
PVR counts L Capital and Multiples PE as its investors. Recently, the company said it has agreed to buy back private equity firm L Capital’s entire investment in equity and preference shares of PVR Leisure, a mall entertainment and gaming arena firm for an undisclosed amount.
As on date, PVR owns 462 screens at 104 locations across 44 cities. It leads an industry which is fast seeing major consolidation through M&As between a handful of large firms.
Other key players in the space include Inox (snapped Satyam), Carnival-Big Cinemas (in the process of merger) and Cinepolis (acquired Fun Cinemas).
Meanwhile, PVR posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 31.6 crore in the quarter ended December 31, 2014, an increase of 127.2 per cent year-on-year, driven by strong revenue and operational growth. Its total income grew to Rs 421.18 crore from Rs 338.7 crore in the year-ago period.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)