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Pyramid Saimira to form JV for 100 malls, plans to raise Rs 4 billion

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MUMBAI: Chennai-based theatre chain company Pyramid Saimira will enter into a 40:60 joint venture with a leading real estate company for setting up 100 malls entailing an investment of Rs 60 billion.

The buzz is that Pyramid will sign the deal with IVRCL Infrastructure and Projects Ltd. "We are in talks with three leading real estate developers including IVRCL but haven't concluded anything yet. All the three are listed companies," says Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd. managing director PS Saminathan.

Pyramid Saimira will raise around Rs 4 billion through a foreign currency convertible bond (FCCB) or a qualified institutional placement (QIP) as its share of funding for the project. "We could even go for a mix of both FCCB and QIP. We have no debt in the company and can leverage our cash balance. The equity dilution will be around 5-6 per cent," says Saminathan.

Pyramid will set up a special purpose vehicle for the project. The company has identified 700 locations in South India, out of which 200 it has found feasible for sustaining a multiplex or mall. In West Bengal it will have 15 locations for its malls and multiplexes, four of which will be in Kolkata. "Every location should be able to generate Rs 500 million from the second year of operations for it to be viable," says Saminathan.

The plan is to have 300 screens through this venture. The malls, covering 20-25 million square feet of space, will be spread across the southern states of India and West Bengal. "We will have 50 per cent of the malls dedicated for the entertainment sector," says Saminathan.

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