UFO Moviez now holds 52% stake in Scrabble Ent

23 Sep,2011

By NANDINI RAGHAVENDRA & AMEYA CHUMBHALE

 

UFO Moviez has picked up 26% equity stake in Scrabble Entertainment, taking its total holding in the Manmohan Shetty-promoted digital cinema systems provider to 52%.

 

UFO, a joint venture between the Valuable Group and Apollo International, which is in the same business as Scrabble, had bought 26% stake in the company a few months ago. Both companies help exhibit movies in the digital format, which is replacing traditional film prints.

 

Mr Shetty, a Bollywood film producer who made a killing in 2007 when he sold his production house Adlabs Films to the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, had launched Scrabble with 72% ownership the same year. Following the deal with UFO, his shareholding in Scrabble has fallen to 21%.

 

The other promoters, Mr Ranjit Thakur and mr Sunil Patil, hold 27% stake in the company. Private equity firm 3i and Providence Equity Partners have invested in UFO. Providence recently invested Rs 260 crore in the company.

 

UFO has 2,350 digital installations across India and Nepal, while Scrabble, India’s only 2K digital cinema initiatives (DCI)-compliant entity, is expanding its footprint to Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It plans to increase the number of its screens from 300 in India to around 2,500 by 2013.

 

Hollywood’s big six studios – Sony, Warner, Disney, Fox, Universal and Paramount – have signed a global initiative whereby their content would only be released in DCI-compliant screens.

 

“We are planning to invest over Rs 150 crore to expand the Scrabble DCI screens and we expect, with this infusion, to reach 800-1000 screens in one and half years,” Mr Sanjay Gaekwad, managing director of UFO Moviez, said. “This will help Scrabble Entertainment increase its global footprint. It would have struggled in isolation,” said Scrabble’s Mr Shetty.

 

 

Source:The Economic Times

Copyright © 2011, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All Rights Reserved

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