Media and entertainment firm Carnival Group will invest up to Rs. 700 crore this fiscal to add 175 multiplex screens mainly through acquisitions.
In order to fund its expansion programme, the group is in talks with two private equity firms based in Singapore and London to raise around Rs. 350-400 crore.
“Our vision is to have 300 screens by end of this fiscal. We will invest Rs. 600-700 crore to add 175 multiplex screens,” Carnival Cinema MD Shrikant Bhasi said.
At present, Carnival Cinemas operates 125 screens across the country. The Kerala-based company, which acquired real estate firm HDIL’s multiplex business last month, is in talks with other multiplex chain operators to acquire their business.
When asked about the acquisition targets, he said the focus of the company for new screens is in tier II and tier II cities.
“There are three major acquisitions on the desk. We are in talks with multiplex operators to acquire their business. Our growth will be mostly inorganic,” he said without disclosing the identities of the parties with which talks were on.
When asked about funding for the acquisitions, Bhasi said: “The company will fund expansion through a mix of funding by private equity (PE) companies and internal accruals.”
“We are in talks with two PE fund companies based in Singapore and London. We plan to raise Rs. 350-400 crore from PE funds,” he added.
Last month Carnival Group acquired HDIL’s multiplex chain Broadway Cinemas for Rs. 110 crore.