Cinepolis India Plans 1,500-cr Expansion
Mumbai: Cinepolis India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of 71year old Mexican multiplex major Cinepolis, has decided to up its game in India and is ready to pump in over ₹ 1,500 crore here for the next 500 screens, a top executive said.
The company, which currently operates 350 screens in India, is way behind its target of 500 screens by 2016. It is now looking at 400 screens by end of 2018. However, Devang Sampat, its director for strategic initiatives, said the company aims to reach the 1,000 screen mark in the country.
“We are growing organically, albeit slower than what we would like. We already have 500 more screens signed and locked,” Sampat told ET. “We don’t compromise on quality and are focussed on providing same quality across metros as well as B and C towns. So we will incur about ₹ 3 crore per screen cost.”
The pace of new screen addition has slowed down in the country in the last couple of years, with just about 200 new screens coming up annually. The top three players, PVR, Inox and Cinepolis are adding 4050 screens each. However, while others made aggressive acquisitions, Cinepolis has been very choosy in that area. And slow pace of real estate development took it a decade to reach 300 screens.
“We have been looking at acquisitions actively. We surely look at, and will continue to look at, the opportunities wherever quality is not compromised and we see a long term benefit,” said Javier Sotomayor, managing director at Cinepolis Asia.
Cinepolis, the world’s secondlargest multiplex company by admissions (339 million last year) and fourth largest in terms of screens (over 5,300), had entered in India in December 2009 with its fourscreen plex in Amritsar. Then, it had announced plans to open 500 screens by 2016 and had signed 160 screens in 10 cities.
On the side, it made its first acquisition of Essel Group-owned Fun Cinemas, which operated 83 screens across 24 properties, in January 2015. Later it also acquired seven screens of DLF-owned DT Cinemas, which PVR could not acquire as per a Competition Commission of India (CCI) directive. “There are very few properties which make sense for us to acquire. Our focus is on creating top quality in-audi experience, for which we are known for across the world,” Sotomayor emphasised.
It was Cinepolis, which introduced recliner seats in multiplexes in 1997.
Pace of adding new screens slowed down in the last few years, with just 200 new screens coming up annually