Adlabs in talks to acquire Excel Home Videos

MUMBAI: Anil Ambani plans to foray into the home video segment through the acquisition route. And he is eyeing Mumbai-based Excel Home Videos which has a wide and deep distribution network.

Sources say Adlabs Films, where Ambani acquired majority control last year, is in talks to buy stake in Excel Home Videos. "Adlabs wants at least a majority stake in the company it selects to invest in. The company is to allow the existing management to continue running the operations. It is in talks with Excel Home Video," sources added.

Excel is an upcoming home video company which is mainly into Hollywood films but late last year acquired Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Parineeta to foray into local commercial Hindi content distribution. It has the exclusive home entertainment licensee to Twentieth Century Fox and Buena Vista among other international studios. 

When contacted, Adlabs Films chairman and managing director Manmohan Shetty was not willing to comment on the issue. Excel managing director M N Kapasi also offered no comment. "We are looking at strategic investors but only after we firm up our business plan," he said.

Excel has given the mandate to Yes Bank for formulating the business plan and finding it a suitable strategic investor. "We have high growth plans in the home video sector. We plan to add more pipelines and more special products like Bollywood films and sports videos. We have appointed Yes Bank to give us a business plan and make us understand our size and structure," says Kapasi.

Excel is in the process of acquiring another Hindi film for home video distribution. The company has also recently renewed its licensee contracts for India with Buena Vista and 20th C Fox.

Ultra Group is the other major company which is in the home video segment and has been looking for funds. Sahara One Media and Entertainment and UTV have identified home video as a growing business and plan to make investments into the sector to develop their own labels.

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