Adlabs likely to pick up stake in a TV production house

MUMBAI: Adlabs Films Ltd is in talks with a television content production company to acquire a controlling stake. If the deal sails through, Adlabs will be able to make an entry into TV production.

"We are in negotiations not for a total buyout but a majority stake," says Adlabs Films chairman and managing director Manmohan Shetty.

He, however, did not disclose the name of the company. "All that I can say is that it is not a listed company and produces 3-4 shows with a good balance sheet," says Shetty.

Though Adlabs has been funding a few TV content companies, it has never directly been engaged in the business. One among the companies it has financed is Pankaj Parashar's Mazaa Films, the creator of the popular TV serial Karam Chand.

"We have been funding some TV content production companies for some specific programmes, even in the past. We have acted like debt providers. We have, however, not been very aggressive. Even now we would not like to focus on TV content in a more aggressive manner, either on our own or as co-productions," says Shetty.

The TV content business will function as a division of Adlabs. "At present all activities of TV content are functioning as a division of Adlabs. We will see how it grows," says Shetty.

Adlabs, meanwhile, has put on the backburner its plans to enter the home video segment. The talks for acquiring stake in Mumbai-based Excel Home Videos have been called off. "The deal didn't happen. We will enter the home video segment on our own once the distribution network is in place. The project is now relegated to the backburner," says Shetty.

Will Adlabs take the acquisition route like Inox to ramp up its multiplex business? "We are aggressively expanding exhibition screens on our own," says Shetty.

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