Television

Adlabs expanding into FM, home video; to pump in Rs 5 billion

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MUMBAI: Adlabs Films Ltd is planning to invest Rs 5 billion over the next three years for expansion of its operations, entering into new areas, and making acquisitions.

The company aims to raise up to $100 million through issue of Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs). The board will meet on 8 December for this purpose. "We are targeting $100 million. But it could be in the region of $50-100 million, depending on the response and terms that we manage to get for the FCCB issue," says Adlabs Films chairman and managing director Manmohan Shetty.

Adlabs plans to foray into private FM broadcasting and has expressed interest in bidding for radio stations. It is also getting into the home video segment. "The investment towards radio would be approximately Rs 1.25 billion, if we manage to get the maximum stations that are allowed to an individual operator," says Shetty.

In the multiplex business, Adlabs aims at adding up 100 screens by the end of FY 08. It already has 35 screens. "We will be making an investment of Rs 2 billion towards multiplexes," says Shetty.

For film production, the plan is to produce at least seven-eight movies and pump in Rs 500-600 million a year. The company has tied up with noted film makers for a longer term. Ram Gopal Varma, for instance, will be making 12 films for Adlabs. Vipul Shah has been tied up for three movies and Prakash Jha for two. "We are negotiating with Ramesh Sippy. We plan to produce at least seven-eight movies a year from FY 07 onwards," says Shetty.

Adlabs is also looking at expanding through acquisitions. "We are in negotiations with a few companies," says Shetty.

Early this year, Anil Ambani's Reliance Land Pvt Ltd acquired 51 per cent stake in Adlabs for a total consideration of Rs 3.6 billion.

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