GV Films in talks to sell webcasting division for Rs 1 billion

MUMBAI: Chennai-based GV Films Ltd. is in negotiations to sell its webcasting division including rights to 6000 movies for Rs 1 billion.

The company had signed an MoU with I-Net Singapore, a leading infocomm technology solutions provider, to web stream movies. I-Net Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of MediaCorp which has a complete range of media businesses spanning TV, radio, movie productions, newspapers, magazines, electronic media and other broadcasting services, would have provided the backend mechanism and acted as a hub for GV Films to stream movie content from its portals, and

"We are in talks to sell our webcasting unit for over Rs 1 billion since this calls for specialist attention. We want to concentrate on physical assets like setting up multiplexes," says a senior executive of GV Films.

The company is planning to have 45 multiplexes in the southern states of India which would also have shopping malls. "We have already acquired two theatres and 10 more are in the process. We will be branding and refurbishing them. We aim to invest $10 million per theatre," says the executive.

The company plans to raise $300 million in overseas markets either through issue of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs) or global depository receipts (GDRs). GV Films also expects to receive Rs 1 billion through its sale of the web-casting division. The company had paid Rs 900 million to acquire internet rights to 4000 Hindi films and 2000 movies in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada languages.

GV Films' plans to acquire an international TV channel, but negotiations have been deferred. "We intend to have a film channel that will cater to the Indian diaspora overseas. It will air Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies. We are not looking at a footprint in India," says the executive.

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