Mexico's Cinepolis Reportedly Acquires India's Fun Cinemas

The $77 million deal comes amid the ongoing consolidation in India's theatrical business

Mexican multiplex cinema chain Cinepolis has reportedly acquired Indian exhibitor Fun Cinemas for $77 million. While both companies have not issued any formal announcement, the news was first reported by Indian daily newspaper Business Standard.

The report quoted an internal email from Cinepolis India managing director Javier Sotomayor, who “communicated the news of the acquisition to the employees of Fun Cinemas and welcomed them to the Cinepolis family.” The report also quoted sources as saying that the deal for Fun Cinemas’ 83 screens was valued at $77 million.

The acquisition boosts Cinepolis’ screen count in India from 110 to 193.

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Cinepolis entered India in 2009 and is still the only multi-national cinema operator in the country taking on domestic players such as India's largest chain, PVR Cinemas, and Big Cinemas, owned by DreamWorks partner Reliance. Fun Cinemas is owned by Subhash Chandra's Essel Group whose interests include broadcasting venture Zee Telefilms.

The acquisition is the latest step in the ongoing consolidation in the Indian exhibition industry. Following PVR's acquisition of rival chain Cinemax in 2012, the company now runs 454 screens. Rumors indicate that PVR is next eyeing South Indian chain SPI Cinemas.

Earlier, Mumbai-based Inox Leisure acquired Fame Cinemas. More recently, Inox also acquired all 38 screens of New Delhi-based Satyam Multiplex, taking its screen count to 358.

All eyes are next on Big Cinemas, which is rumored to be in advanced discussions for a possible takeover by South India's Carnival Cinemas. At one time, Cinepolis was also reportedly interested in acquiring Big Cinemas, which operates 515 screens worldwide, of which 280 are in India.

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