Eros prepares for India IPO

London-listed company to spin off Indian subsidiary

HONG KONG -- Bollywood giant Eros International is joining the queue of film companies lining up to raise cash from Indian investors.
The London-listed company announced Monday that it will spin off its Indian subsidiary Eros International Media via a separate share quote on the Bombay Stock Exchange. It has appointed bankers to handle the transaction and said that it should be completed by the end of the parent group's current financial year to March 2010.
Eros said that the flotation of the Indian unit will strengthen the group's balance sheet "in anticipation of future corporate activity" but that it will not be selling more than 25% of Eros India's shares.
The move and the recent appointment of A.P. Parigi as Eros India's CEO are also seen as signs of consolidation and expansion within India, where Eros has only had a distribution operation for a few years.
In a trading statement Eros said that business had returned to normal after resolution in June of the dispute between producers and multiplex owners. Since then Eros has enjoyed hits "Love Aaj Kal" and "Kambakkht Ishq."
Last week London-listed animation house DQ Entertainment said that it would similarly launch a Bombay IPO for its Indian unit.