Adlabs buys Malaysia's Lotus Five Star

Adlabs becomes Malaysia's third-largest exhibitor

NEW DELHI -- Mumbai-based Adlabs Films, which runs India's largest theatrical chain along with holding interests in film production, said Monday it has acquired a majority stake in Malaysia's Lotus Five Star Cinemas.

"We cannot reveal financial details or the equity structure but, as a result of this deal, we have acquired a controlling stake in the company which runs 51 screens," Reliance Entertainment senior vp Anil Arjun said in an interview. Adlabs is part of Reliance.

Arjun added that the newly acquired screens -- which will make Adlabs the third largest chain in the country -- will continue to show a mix of market leader Hollywood product in addition to Malaysian- and Indian-language films.

Adlabs is currently being rebranded as Big Cinemas, which Arjun added "is going to happen soon, starting with our Indian operations, followed by our overseas interests in the U.S., Malaysia, Mauritius and other territories."

In March, Adlabs acquired 240 screens in the U.S. in partnership with Knoxville, Tenn.-based Phoenix Theatres for an undisclosed amount.

In February, American billionaire investor George Soros acquired a 3% stake in Reliance Entertainment for $100 million (HR 2/8).