Smaaash Bags a Bowl­ing Ally

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - Our Bureau

Mum­bai: Smaaash En­ter­tain­ment, the sports-based en­ter­tain­ment com­pany co-owned by Shri­pal Mo­rakhia and for­mer crick­eter Sachin Ten­dulkar, is set to ac­quire bluO En­ter­tain­ment, run by mul­ti­plex op­er­a­tor PVR, for ₹ 86 crore. Smaaash has en­tered into a de­fin­i­tive agree­ment for the ac­qui­si­tion with PVR, which own 51% in the bowl­ing for­mat, and Ma­jor Cine­plex Group of Thai­land, which has 49%. “The sale of bluO is in line with our strat­egy to di­vest all non-core as­sets and fo­cus on our core cinema ex­hi­bi­tion busi­ness,” Ajay Bi­jli, chair­man, PVR, said. “It is also re­flec­tive of the value em­bed­ded in our core as­sets and demon­strates our com­mit­ment to in­crease share­holder value and pro­vide man­age­ment a more fo­cused ap­proach for en­hanc­ing value in the ex­hi­bi­tion busi­ness.”

The ac­qui­si­tion adds six cen­tres (ap­prox­i­mately 2,10,000 sqft) across five cities to Smaaash’s seven cen­ters in In­dia and one in Min­neapo­lis in the United States. It will double the area un­der Smaaash man­age­ment in In­dia from 2,76,000 square feet to ap­prox­i­mately around 6,00,000 square feet.

The bluO cen­tres will op­er­ate un­der the Smaaash brand. Two more cen­tres are ex­pected to open shortly. Smaaash will in­tro­duce its sig­na­ture games at all bluO cen­tres, which only had bowl­ing be­fore.

“The strate­gic ac­qui­si­tion of bluO is a sig­nif­i­cant step in dou­bling Smaaash’s scale and out­reach in In­dia’s fast-grow­ing re­tail en­ter­tain­ment space,” Smaaash En­ter­tain­ment chief imag­i­na­tion of­fi­cer Shri­pal Mo­rakhia said. The syn­er­gies be­tween both the brands are sym­bi­otic in cre­at­ing a net­work of cen­tres in key cities with a fo­cus on whole­some sports, ac­tive life, and ad­ven­ture for ur­ban ci­ti­zens, he said. “bluO’s pre­mium lo­ca­tions, in­fra­struc­ture and F&B of­fer­ings, cou­pled with Smaaash’s lead­er­ship in in­no­va­tion with new tech­nol­ogy and vir­tual re­al­ity, will fill a much­needed gap for ex­pe­ri­en­tial en­ter­tain­ment in our coun­try,” Mo­rakhia said.

EY acted as the ex­clu­sive fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor to the share­hold­ers of PVR bluO for the trans­ac­tion.

Other share­hold­ers of Smaaash in­clude Fidelis World, and Ben­nett Cole­man & Co (BCCL), which owns and pub­lishes The Eco­nomic Times.

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