India’s largest multiplex chain — PVR Ltd — will buy a majority stake in SPI Cinemas, South India’s largest cinema chain and owner of the iconic Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai, in a deal valued at ₹850 crore.
“We decided on this deal because SPI Cinemas is one of the finest brands in the theatre industry. They understand the business and consumers very well and deliver. We will also pick up the best practices from them and will share ours,” Nitin Sood, CFO of PVR Ltd, told The Hindu . “The food and the popcorn at SPI, which is close to every movie-goer, will remain,” he said. As of March 2018, SPI had total assets of ₹319.63 crore and a turnover of ₹309.60 crore. SPI’s owners, Kiran Reddy and Swaroop Reddy, will continue to run the show. Mr. Kiran will continue as the CEO. “They are willing to drive the business for us. Everything else remains quid pro quo,” Mr. Sood said. To a query on change in brand name, he said the company had not thought about it.
The acquisition will propel PVR as the seventh largest cinema exhibitor in the world in terms of annual admissions at its theatres, which will be in excess of 100 million, according to a statement from the company.