CCI approves PVR-DT Cinemas deal sans seven screens

Anti-trust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved multiplex chain PVR's proposed acquisition of DT Cinemas from DLF but under the condition that the companies exclude certain assets from the deal to address anti-trust concerns.

PVR will renegotiate the deal after CCI asked the two companies to leave out seven screens to avoid anti-competitive practices. In a regulatory filing, DLF said the deal will exclude seven screens - DT Savitri (one screen) and DT Saket (six screens).

The transaction had originally envisaged PVR acquiring 39 DT Cinemas screens from DLF with a total capacity of around 9,000 seats.

PVR announced the acquisition of DT Cinemas in June last year for Rs500 crore after an earlier deal in February 2010 failed.

CCI had, last year, put the deal for public scrutiny, after prima facie finding that the transaction could impact competition in the market.

"PVR's acquisition of DT Cinema's multiplexes/single screen theaters in Delhi NCR and Chandigarh, subject to modification," has been cleared, CCI stated in a tweet.

In a separate regulatory filing, DLF also said the deal would exclude seven screens - DT Savitri (one screen) and DT Saket (six screent).
The revision in assets will reduce the deal value by around Rs50-60 crore considering the size of the seven screens to be excluded from transaction are small.

PVR said it is still assessing the order and would take appropriate action in due course.

Both parties are initiating necessary steps to successfully close this transaction, DLF, the country's largest realty firm, said.

This is the third time in the recent years, when the CCI has called for divestment of assets in a big ticket acquisition as a condition for approval.

In two mega deals earlier - the $4-billion Sun Pharma-Ranbaxy and HolcimLafarge deals – the CCI had called for divestment of assets to address anti-competition concerns.