bollywood-film-distributor-lists-on-londons-alternative-market

Bollywood film distributor lists on London's alternative market

Bollywood film group Eros International Plc, which owns and distributes Indian films globally, raises about 22.5 million pounds ($41.48 million) on London's Alternate Investment Market.
On July 4 Bollywood film group Eros International Plc announced that it had raised about 22.5 million pounds ($41.48 million) in an offering on London's Alternate Investment Market (AIM). Eros International owns and distributes Indian films around the world in a variety of formats. For the nine month period ended December 31, 2005 Eros recorded revenues of $32.2 million on which it earned an EBITDA of $12.6 million.

In a release the Exchange said the company "has an initial market capitalisation of 176 million pounds, making it the largest listed company in the Indian film industry". Eros chairman and chief executive, Kishore Lulla said, ôwe are now at a point in our history where the business is of sufficient scale to exploit the significant opportunities presented to us by the growing Indian entertainment sector globally. As a listed company, we will have the increased financial strength, visibility and currency to help us achieve our objectives.ö

Eros, which was founded in India in 1977, has a film library containing more than 1,300 titles and more than 110 employees in India, Britain, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Fiji. It will use the monies raised to expand its business and exploit content over new media such as online cable, wireless and mobile. It recently launched www.bondemand.tv an online Bollywood movies, videos and music download service. The promoter of Eros, Lulla is also involved in the B4U (standing for Bollywood for you) television channels.

Bollywood movies have had niche audiences in countries other then India for example Russia, Egypt for a long time. This is gradually becoming more mainstream. Further over the last few years Hollywood has started taking notice of the potential of Bollywood, both as a large audience (India's own billion people and Indians living outside the country) and as an exporter of content. Recently the first instance of Hollywood buying the rights for a remake of a Bollywood movie was another indicator that the country's movie industry has come a long way. Eros is well placed on the brink of this expected high growth.

Eros derives a majority of its revenues outside Indian thus an international listing made sense. Both Indian companies with global revenue streams and companies with India-centric businesses are increasingly findiing an openness in alternative markets to fund their capital requirements. In March this year Man Industries became the first Indian company to list on the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX) raising $35 million of GDRs.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.

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