India’s largest real estate player DLF divested one of its non-core assets DT Cinemas to PVR for about Rs 500 crore on9 June 2015. In line with the pact, DT Cinemas’ 29 screens with about 6,000 seats across eight properties in the National Capital Region and Chandigarh will now be managed by PVR Cinemas. Post this development, Nitin Sood, Group Chief financial Officer and spokesperson, PVR speaks to Nipun Augustine Jacob on PVR’s enlarging portfolio.
How will DT Cinemas add value to overall presence of PVR?
Prime locations of the properties which DLF chose over the years have played a major contributing factor in the decision-making process. Plus they are regarded highly for offering a great amount of customer service and the brand PVR has always focussed on premium locations with differentiated customer experience. The exhibition business of DLF is debt free and the acquisition of these screens will also help us improve our margins. The mall properties where DT is located and also the 10 new screens where they have planned to run their cinema exhibition business were some other crucial factors in evaluating the deal. The new properties are expected to come up in Noida and Chanakyapuri and will be complete by the end of FY16.
Will DT theatres be re-branded and/or remodelled as PVR?
We will take minimum of 6-12 months for re-branding and re-modelling the whole structure as the proposed transaction is subjected to statutory and regulatory approvals as per Indian Government.
Is the growth of digital media — including online media interfaces such as Hotstar — impacting the cinema exhibition business in any way? Please share your views on how technology is transforming the entertainment business in India.
The new media gadgets such as IPads, mobile phones, laptops and the ease of accessing high-end applications on a digital device is evolving fast and morphing continuously with a significant pace. The consumption of entertainment is way too large to tap, however the cinematic grandeur and the experience a multiplex or a theatre render on the screen can’t be replicated on phone or for that matter on any other device. Its a differentiated experience! We are fine with such applications and we have no competition with them. Ultimately we all offer media distribution platform. These applications will continue to exist and we can only work towards maximising the value of content.
Please share the expansion/ business innovation plans for PVR in 2015-16.
We have planned to open 60-70 screens during the course of this fiscal. We are targeting all parts of the country from Mysore, Pathankot, Chennai, Bokaro to Noida and also the suburbs of Mumbai. Wherever we see scope and growth opportunities that will be our functional area.