One of the promoters of Chennai-based entertainment company Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd (PSTL) has proposed to buyout the 25% stake of other two promoters for Rs 150 crore, according to media reports. PS Saminathan, chairman and MD of Pyramid Saimira Group, will buy the stake of NC Ravichandran (0.04%) and Nirmal Kotecha (24.89%). Saminathan will pay Rs 200 per share to them, reports Economic Times. The share price is nearly three times the current market price of PTSL, which was Rs 73 at the close on Monday.
Saminathan’s current holding in the company stands at nearly 22% and after the acquisition of stake is expected to go up to 47%. Kotecha held a 30% stake earlier, of which he sold 4.5% to Saminanathan earlier. The deal has recieved the approval of Securities and Exchange Board of India and will not trigger an open offer as it is a transfer of shares, the report adds.
PTSL has been rapidly expanding its operations not only across India, but has also expanded its international presence. It has joined hands with China’s Ministry of Culture for launching a theatre there. It is also in preliminary talks with UK’s Reel Cinemas for an acquisition.
Meanwhile the economic slowdown has affected the firm too. It recently said that it has closed down 25 screens in western India and another eight in northern India. It’s also rethinking its overseas expansion plans. Its rival PVR also may not reach its target of reaching 120 screens by March next year.
The theatre chain had generated interest from PE funds such as Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs and Texas Pacific Group for an equity stake, according to unconfirmed reports. The theatre chain had announced investment of Rs 200 crore in the next 18 months with the aim to modernise 250 theatres in the 4 southern states namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
Cinema exhibition has attracted venture funding in the past. PVR Cinemas had earlier this year raised Rs 60 crore from JP Morgan and ICICI Venture. India Value Fund was the first to invest in one – in Shringar Cinema – which went public couple of years ago.