GV Films plans ambitious Rs 10 billion entertainment project, looks for JV

MUMBAI: Chennai-based GV Films is in talks with an Indian company to jointly set up an ambitious Rs 10 billion entertainment township in Panvel near Navi Mumbai.

The company is also in negotiations with multinational companies like Panasonic for technology support. "We are in talks with Panasonic and others," says GV Films chairman Mahadevan Ganesh. On being queried as to whether Panasonic could participate in equity as well, he refused to comment, saying that the company "hopes to firm up plans within a week. I can't talk anything on our plans at this stage."

Sources say GV Films is weighing the option of going for a FCCB (Foreign Currency Convertible Bond) issue, which is likely to be in the size of Rs 1.25-1.50 billion to fund this project. The balance Rs 500-750 million would be generated internally. The joint venture partner would bring in the balance amount to fill up the equity component. On consideration is the formation of a 50:50 joint venture. Around 60 per cent of the funding for the project would be through debt. "These proposals are being considered. But nothing has been finalised yet and would depend on several factors," says the source.

GV Films board is meeting on 20 October to consider the proposal of joint venture with another Indian entity for executing a 'Digipolis' (Entertainment village / Theme Park). It will also consider raising of resources by way of GDR / ADR / FCCB Issue. "FCCB is the most likely route to raise funds. For GDR/ADR, it will be difficult for the company to command a premium at this stage," says the source.

GV Films is in the process of putting in place a revival strategy after it had slumped to a position where revenues were severely affected. Soon after a new management came in place, the company came up with a rights issue. Recently, GV Films has signed up with Jaya TV to produce the country's first 3D serial on television. In fact, GV Films is making two 3D live action shows for Jaya TV - Paramapadam (Snake and Ladder) and Mayawi (Invisible Man). "We will get around Rs 700000 for each one-hour episode. We have tied up with a Hollywood firm for the technology. It will be digitally encoded there. Besides, the director of photography will be from Hollywood," Ganesh had earlier told



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