Reliance Group to merge entertainment arm with Prime Focus

Tags: News
In a major entertainment business deal, Reliance Capital today announced the merger of its global film and media services business with Prime Focus to create an entity with a combined turnover of over Rs 1,800 crore.

The multi-layered deal includes the infusion of Rs 120 crore by Reliance MediaWorks in Prime Focus for a 30.2 per cent stake, while existing promoters of Prime Focus would also pump in a similar amount. Prime Focus promoters as well as Reliance MediaWorks will also launch an open offer for a further 26 per cent jointly.

Reliance MediaWorks was recently delisted from the stock exchanges and has been part of the investment portfolio of Reliance Capital, the financial services arm of Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group.

However, Reliance Capital has now decided to unlock value from its investments in sectors other than financial services.

In a joint statement, the two companies said the deal would create the world's largest media services power house, which already has an order pipeline of Rs 2,000 crore, over 5,500 employees and operations in the US, UK, Canada, China and Singapore, besides India.

Prime Focus chief Namit Malhotra will head the combined entity while its current promoters will have a 33.5 per cent stake after the transaction.

Prime Focus said it would use the deal proceeds to fund its recent acquisition of US-based Double Negative, an Academy Award-winning visual effects studio.

"We are hugely excited about the transformational growth opportunity created by the powerful combination of the global film and media services business of Reliance MediaWorks and Prime Focus," said Amitabh Jhunjhunwala, Group Managing Director of Reliance Group.

Some blockbusters handled by the two entities include The Dark Knight trilogy, 'Transformers 4', 'Inception' and 'Gravity'.

Shares of Reliance Capital rose marginally to close at Rs 655.75, while those of Prime Focus fell 0.3 per cent to end at Rs 54.65.

The open offer for the purchase of 26 per cent from public shareholders of Prime Focus would be made at Rs 52 per share, the price at which Reliance MediaWorks and Prime Focus promoters are being issued shares through a preferential allotment.

JC

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