Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun Steps Down

 Nyay Bhushan

NEW DELHI – Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun will step down as part of a management restructuring, the company said in an official filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Owned by DreamWorks' equal partner, conglomerate Reliance ADAG group, RMW owns India's largest theatrical chain, Big Cinemas – which runs over 530 cinemas in India and overseas – while the group's film and media services business includes digital post production facilities and the recently built Reliance MediaWorks studio facility in Mumbai's Film City.

RMW will now be supervised by the CEOS of its two divisions: film and media services' Venkatesh Roddam and the exhibition division's Ashok Ganapathy. Both executives – who were earlier reporting to Arjun whose position has been eliminated – will now directly report to the RMW board.

“The appointments will enhance the independent focus on each operating division and thereby enhance revenues and profitability,” RMW said in its filing.

“I will be a strategic advisor as part of the transition process for some months,” Arjun told THR and without giving details of his future plans, added, “I will be examining opportunities in the entertainment space.”

RMW recently announced it had signed a term sheet with a “leading international private equity fund to invest about $112 million (Rupees 6.05 billion)” in its film and media services division. These businesses include its Burbank-based image processing facility (formerly known as Lowry Digital) and India’s largest Hollywood-benchmarked studios, RMW Studios with a total built-up area of 200,000 square feet which include 8 sound stages spread across a 7 acre area within Mumbai's Film City complex. In addition, RMW has partnered with LA-based Digital Domain Productions to set up visual effects and 3D Stereo Production services studios in Mumbai and London.

RMW also recently filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to raise upto $111 million (Rupees 6 billion) by way of a rights issue to existing equity shareholders. With RMW facing a debt of about $300 million, the combined rights issue and proposed equity investment are expected to reduce the company's debt.

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