Reliance MediaWorks signs agreement to raise Rs600 cr from PE fund

Anil Ambani-controlled Reliance MediaWorks, a film and entertainment services firm, has signed an agreement with a foreign private equity fund to raise $112 million that would be invested in its film and media services divisions.

''The potential investor has provided an indicative non-binding proposal to acquire a substantial minority stake'' in Reliance MediaWorks' film and media services division, the company said in a statement. However, the name of the PE fund was not disclosed.

Reliance MediaWorks, which has a market capitalisation of about $50.8 million, plans to use the funds to primarily cut debt and for expansion.

The proposed investment will be restricted to RMW's film and services units and not its other divisions, specifically BIG Cinemas (India's largest cinema chain with over 490 screens, including some overseas) and television production venture, BIG Synergy, which has produced shows such as the Indian version of 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' among others.

RMW had recently hived off BIG Cinemas and its film services unit into separate wholly-owned subsidiaries to rope in investments. Reliance MediaWorks has three main businesses - a theatre distribution operation under BIG Cinemas, a TV production unit under BIG Synergy, and a film and media services segment.

The film and media services business includes motion picture processing, image enhancement and restoration, animation and visual effects, and is attracting business from overseas.