A few weeks after multiplex major PVR Ltd announced deal with Cinemax Ltd to buyout the cinema exhibition business from its promoters, the buzz is that INOX Leisure is also looking at buying out the multiplex business of Essel Group, housed under E-City Ventures.
E-City Ventures' movie exhibition and entertainment arm, Fun Multiplex Pvt Ltd (FMPL), operates 76 screens across 17 cities. INOX, which acquired majority stake in Fame India, now operates 256 screens across India, and is the second largest multiplex operator in the country. If it acquires Fun Cinemas, the company will own 322 screens.
PVR, after acquiring Cinemax, has become the largest player with 351 screens, while Big Cinemas and Cinepolis India have 253 and 44 screens respectively.
“INOX Leisure, which had bid aggressively for Fame India in 2011, has always shown alignment towards inorganic growth. They were also in the race for Cinemax, but PVR bid higher. Now, INOX is looking at FMPL,” an investment banker, aware of the talks, told Business Standard. He added that his firm is not part of the deal.
When contacted, Deepak Asher, director of INOX Leisure, declined to comment on the issue.