India's PVR Pics backed by JPMorgan

Raises $28.5 Mil from JPM and ICICI

NEW DELHI -- Leading Indian theater chain and film company PVR Ltd. said Thursday it has raised $28.5 million for its film production and distribution subsidiary by selling 40% of its equity to JPMorgan and leading Indian venture fund ICICI.

Mumbai-based ICICI Venture Funds Management Co. and JPMorgan Global Special Opportunities Group each will invest 600 million rupees ($14.28 million) in parent group subsidiary PVR Pictures.

Parent group PVR Ltd holds the balance 60% of PVR Pictures.

PVR runs over 84 screens nationwide and opened India’s first multiplex in New Delhi in 1997. As one of the largest multiplex operators, PVR typically claims about 15% of the boxoffice of any major Bollywood film.

The company diversified into film production with PVR Pictures in 2007 with the hit "Taare Zameen Par" ("Stars on Earth") the directorial debut of top Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.

PVR Pictures plans to increase its film output to eight to 10 titles next year from four to five this year, as it prepares its upcoming productions for release this summer such as "Jaane Tu ..." ("Maybe You Know") and "Contract."

PVR Pictures also distributes international titles in India and acquired 13 films from Focus Features at Cannes this year such as "The Other Boleyn Girl" and "Be Kind Rewind."