UTV to distribute Miramax movies

MUMBAI: UTV Software Communications has signed a deal with Miramax International Film Corporation to distribute 130 titles for a period of ten years.

UTV has been given the rights for theatrical, television and home video rights, subject to timely payment consideration. However, the television and pay-per-view exhibition will be restricted to the Indian subcontinent. "We have paid $800,000 for these movies," says promoter Ronnie Screwvala.

UTV has also recently entered into an agreement with Fox Searchlight Pictures and Japan-based Entertainment Farm to jointly participate in production and distribution of an English movie. Directed by Mira Nair, the movie is based on the novel Namesake written by Jhumpa Lahiri. The film would attract an investment of $9.6 million, to be shared equally by the three partners. Fox will license to UTV Motion Picture the rights of theatrical, home video and free television distribution and exhibition for India.

As already reported on, UTV is entering the capital market on 21 February with a public issue of 6,999,950 equity shares of Rs 10 each through a 100 per cent book building process to part finance its expansion plans. The company has fixed a price band of Rs 115-130 for the issue.

"The size of the issue will be Rs 910 million at the upper end of the price band and Rs 805 million at the lower end," said Screwvala, while addressing a press conference on Monday.

The issue comprises fresh equity of 4,500,000 shares of Rs 10 each and offer for sale by CDPQ, a Canadian private equity investor, of 2,499,950 equity shares of Rs 10 each for cash.

The proceeds from the issue will be used for enhancement of production facility and office infrastructure, investment in the kids channel Hungama TV, post-production expansion, working capital requirements for movie production and distribution initiatives and general corporate purpose

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