India Inc India Inc: Tuesday, 10 April 2012 15:52

Reliance plans cinema tie-up with Mexican firm

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RelianceMediaWorksIndian entertainment firm Reliance MediaWorks is in talks with Mexico’s Cinepolis over a potential stake sale of its film exhibition arm Big Cinemas. The Reliance owned chain is India's largest, with about 530 screens across India, the US and Malaysia. It now hopes to focus on its film and media services businesses and reduce dependency on multiplexes.

The Mexican firm is one of the world’s largest multiplex operators with a total of 2,801 screens, with 32 already in India.

Discussions between the two firms have reportedly been underway for the past two months but no financial details of the deal are available at this stage.

Anil Ambani controlled Reliance MediaWorks also provides other services such as visual effects, motion picture processing, studio facilities, film restoration, equipment rentals, animation and post-production.

It had announced earlier this year that it was in the process of dividing its cinema exhibition, and film and media services into separate 100 per cent subsidiaries.

“The subsidiarisation step is a precursor to invite strategic and private equity investors, who have expressed a keen interest in investing in specific businesses,” Reliance MediaWorks had said in a statement in January.

In India, the company operates 260 screens spread over 103 theatres and 80 cities and claims that BIG Cinemas accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of Indian box-office contributions from big ticket films.

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