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Reliance MediaWorks sells Malaysian multiplex biz to Navis, buys US-based Digital Domain

28 September, 2012

Reliance MediaWorks Ltd, the film and entertainment services arm of Reliance ADA Group, has sold its film exhibition business in Malaysia, while it has acquired the business of US-based Digital Domain and Mothership.

Shares of Reliance Mediaworks were up by 12.85 per cent, closing at Rs 77.3 on Monday on BSE.

Reliance Mediaworks has sold the Malaysian Big Cinema’s exhibition business to buyout fund Navis Capital Partners. This divestment is a part of its ongoing strategic reorganisation to enhance focus on exhibition business in India.

The exhibition business has been consistently profitable and contributes a market share of eight per cent of the box office in Malaysia. Navis had recently acquired MBO Cinemas in Malaysia and portfolio of Big Cinemas is expected to complement the existing location and coverage.

Reliance Mediaworks has also partnered with China’s Galloping Horse America and acquired all assets including the business of Digital Domain and Mothership for $30.2 million. These include the feature film and advertising visual effects, commercial production and virtual humans, studios in California and Vancouver and co-production stake in the feature film Ender’s Game. The deal would be part of film and media services division, which is expected to raise PE funding soon.

Reliance Mediaworks had recently disclosed that its film and media services division is in talks to raise $110 million from an unnamed PE fund.

While China’s Galloping Horse will hold 70 per cent, the rest will be held by Reliance MediaWorks in the Digital Domain joint venture. China’s eCapital acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Galloping Horse and its affiliated parties in this transaction.

Digital Domain Productions was set up in 1993 by director James Cameron and two business partners Stan Winston and Scott Ross. A part of Digital Domain Media Group Inc., it has won several Academy Awards, has worked on visuals for more than 90 movies, including blockbusters like Titanic, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Pirates of the Caribbean and Tron Legacy.

Mothership is a subsidiary of Digital Domain which is engaged advertising, entertainment and brand experiences.

With around 20 years of industry experience, Galloping Horse is actively engaged in film and television financing, production, distribution as well as advertising and magazine publishing. Recently, the firm added new media and animated content production as well as talent management into its growing business portfolio. The company has signed exclusives deals with some of the most prominent producers, directors and writers in China, including John Woo, Zhang Yibai, Ning Hao and Liu Heng.

Mumbai-based Reliance MediaWorks Ltd, a film and entertainment services company and part of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), operates Big Cinemas, India’s largest cinema chain with over 435 screens spread across India and the US. Although it has been overtaken by Inox Group in the number of movie screens in India, it remains a larger player given its presence abroad. The firm has presence in film services, motion picture processing and DI, film restoration and image enhancement, 3D, digital mastering, studios and equipment rentals, visual effects, animation, TVC post production spread across India, US and UK.

Reliance MediaWorks saw its total consolidated income slip marginally to Rs 814.5 crore for FY12 from Rs 836 crore in FY11, with net loss widening to Rs 518 crore from Rs 329 crore. Bulk of the losses were in the multiplex business.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)


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Reliance MediaWorks sells Malaysian multiplex biz to Navis, buys US-based Digital Domain

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