PVR planning to take its luxury format Director’s Cut to Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong
Ajay Bijli: King of the Screens From juggling the family trucking business and a single-screen cinema, PVR’s Ajay Bijli today is the undisputed leader in the multiplexes business, thanks to the bold acquisition of rival Cinemax. The PVR ecosystem now stra
Multiplex operator PVR, which recently acquired Cinemax to become the largest film exhibition company in the country, is exploring opportunities to take its luxury format Director’s Cut to Asian markets such as Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. “DC (Director’s Cut), as a luxury lifestyle concept, is now complete and has an international appeal. Now is the time when we can take it to some international markets,” Sanjeev Kumar Bijli, joint managing director of PVR said. Director’s Cut is a high-end format with theatres, restaurants, books and merchandise. Its tickets are priced up to Rs 1,200 on a weekend and offers facilities such as in-cinema dining, movie on demand. The
cinemas screen independent and rare films, besides the mainstream ones. The theatres have restaurants and sell books and merchandise. “Asian cities will be the right markets, where the consumerism story is still strong, compared to the US or the UK which are either saturated or trapped in economic crisis,” Bijli said, adding that the plan is at an initial stage. The foreign foray is being explored though PVR Leisure, a subsidiary of listed firm PVR Ltd. The company already has a tieup with Thailand based Major Cineplex Group for bowling alleys and allied entertainment activities under the Blu-O brand. Meanwhile, PVR is expanding both Director’s Cut and Blu -O networks within India. It currently has one DC in Delhi and five Blu-Os in Delhi, Gurgaon , Bangalore and Pune. “We plan to take DC to places like Bangalore, Noida and Gurgaon and open more bowling alleys in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and other tier II cities,” Bijli said. The company is also creating its own restaurant brands to compliment the cinema exhibition business. It has already opened Mistral restaurant,
serving Mediterranean food in Delhi. Another brand, Mr Hong, is set to open in Bangalore. “The plan is to add more food and beverage brands,” Bijli said. “With L Capital being our partner, there are a lot of inquiries and we are constantly evaluating options.” Luxury major LVMH group’s private equity arm L Capital had picked up 44% stake in PVR Leisure for Rs 50 crore last year. Film exhibition company PVR Ltd — the holding firm of PVR Leisure — currently operates over 350 cinema screens across India and Bijli said it plans to increase this number to 500 in the next 18 months. PVR recently acquired a controlling stake in Cinemax India Ltd through wholly-owned subsidiary Cine Hospitality.
Macquarie Bank picks up PVR shares for Rs. 9.5 crore
Investment services provider Macquarie Bank acquired 2.68 lakh shares of multiplex chain operator PVR worth Rs.9.5 crore through open market transactions. According to bulk deal data available with the stock exchanges, a total of 2,68,576 shares of PVR were picked up by Macquarie Bank. The shares were purchased at an average price of Rs. 352.72 a piece, amounting the transaction to Rs. 9.47 crore. In January, this year, PVR had completed acquisition of a controlling stake in Cinemax India for Rs. 395 crore, following which it became the country’s largest multiplex operator with a combined strength of 351 screens at 85 locations. PVR had 46 operational properties, with 213 screens and a seating capacity of 50,655 seats. Cinemax had 39 operational properties, with 138 screens and a seating capacity of 33,535 seats.