Yash Birla group co Birla Cap to divest Birla Financial; Birla Fin to promote KSS

Entertainment firm KSS Ltd (formerly K Sera Sera) said on Thursday that Birla Financial Distribution Pvt Ltd (BFDPL) is acquiring 11 per cent stake in the company, which would make it the promoter of the firm. This is part of a two-tiered transaction, where BFDPL, currently majority owned by Yash Birla Group's public firm Birla Capital, is being divested by the listed parent.

It could not be immediately ascertained if Yash Birla is buying out this entity BFDPL and then buying a stake in KSS in his personal capacity.

Founded in 1995, KSS is engaged in the business of miniplexes, digital cinema, education, edutainment, online trading, project consultancy, international film distribution, general trading and investments in gold mines.

It has produced various movies of Bollywood director cum producer Ram Gopal Varma including Sarkar besides distributing several others across languages.

It has a dispersed public shareholding with no promoter holding. The company is run by its board.

KSS said its board has signed an agreement with BFDPL for the transaction.

Currently, KSS operates around four miniplexes one each in Mumbai, Sangrur, Ramnagar and Raigad. It runs miniplexes for cinema exhibition which double up for distance learning through satellite transmission in 

non-movie-viewing hours.

The firm also has high definition cinema projection technology via satellite, under SkyCinex brand. In the past it had also diversified beyond the entertainment sector to buy a stake in an Australian gold mine company Citigold.

Early this year it had said it is acquiring Digital Cinema and Technology India Pvt Ltd (DCAT) for an undisclosed amount. This strengthens its position as one of the strongest players offering full HD e-cinema services delivered through the satellite in India and the third-largest player in e-cinema theatre network.

KSS recently decided to sell a significant minority stake in its subsidiary K Sera Sera Miniplex Ltd through offer for sale. The firm, which is engaged in the in-house production and distribution of motion pictures in India, is planning to divest 26 per cent equity stake in the subsidiary for a total valuation of nearly Rs 200 crore (around $33.27 million), as per a board meeting on July 25. At this valuation the firm would get around Rs 52 crore from the proposed transaction.

It did not disclose if it has identified a buyer for the transaction. A number of firms have been looking to expand their multiplex business, which is dominated by the likes of PVR, Inox and Big Cinemas.

The company said it plans to set up around 500 mini-plexes in tier II and III cities. However, it did not say how it plans to fund the expansion.

In a separate disclosure Birla Capital said it has entered into an agreement to sell its stake in the subsidiary companies Birla Gold and Precious Metals Private Limited and Birla Financial Distribution Private Limited. It did not disclose the name of the buyers.

Birla Gold is said to be into gold related investment products and reportedly launching a jewellery chain and an e-commerce platform.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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