Indian film distributor gets $28m funding from ICICI Venture, JPMorgan

The two firms have invested in Delhi-based PVR Pictures to fund the expansion of its film production and distribution business.

ICICI Venture and JPMorgan Special Opportunities Group, one of the bank’s private equity units, will invest 1.2 billion Indian rupees ($28.2 million; €18 million) in PVR Pictures, a fully owned subsidiary of Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange-listed PVR, one of the leading cinema multiplex chains in India.

PVR Pictures is a film distribution and production company and it acquires rights for the distribution of Indian and international films. The company also engages in film production, an area it ventured into only recently.

The two firms will invest 600 million rupees each into the company, PVR said in a statement. The stakes they will pick up have not been disclosed, though Sanjeev Bijli, executive director of PVR Pictures told Indian news channel CNBC-TV18 that the two firms will own minority interests of 20 percent each following the transaction’s completion with the parent company retaining a 60 percent share.

PVR said that the investment in its subsidiary will fund the expansion of its content production and distribution business, thus enabling it to become a fully integrated film and entertainment company that engages in content production, distribution and exhibition through its theatres.

The company’s first film co-production ‘Taare Zameen Par’ released last December and was a runaway success. It will release four more films this year, including two co-productions. It aims to increase its output to 8-10 films next year onwards.

JPMorgan made the investment out of its subsidiary JP Morgan Mauritius Holding IV and ICICI Venture invested through the India Advantage Fund.