Prime Focus to pump in Rs 700 mn for international expansion

MUMBAI: This may well be the first time that an Indian post production house is setting up shop overseas. Mumbai-based Prime Focus is planning to invest Rs 700 million to set up studio facilities in the UK, US and Dubai, reversing the trend where some of the production houses like Yash Raj Films (YRF) have created hi-tech facilities in India as an outsourcing model to service Hollywood and other external clients.

"We are setting up specific studio infrastructure in these three centres. The idea is to diversify our risks and tap overseas markets," Prime Focus managing director Namit Malhotra tells

Prime Focus aims to raise Rs 1 billion through an initial public offering (IPO). The company has filed its draft red herring prospectus with the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

The balance Rs 300 million from the IPO proceeds will be used to beef up infrastructure in India, says Malhotra. "We are starting our Chennai operations within a month. There is a big local film industry which we can tap. This will be our first studio outside Mumbai," he adds.

Prime Focus is creating another post production facility in Mumbai. "This will be specifically to service advertising clients," says Malhotra.

The promoters hold around 70 per cent stake in the company. Anil Ambani's Reliance Capital and Adlabs Films together hold about 21 per cent.

ICICI Securities and Centrum Capital are lead managers to the issue. For the year ended 31 March 2005, Prime Focus posted a net profit of Rs 83 million on a turnover of 300 million. The company's income was Rs 190 million for the first half of this fiscal while the net profit stood at Rs 73 million, says Malhotra.

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