PVR plans entry into Middle East, North Africa region; to form JV with Al-Futtaim Group

PVR plans entry into Middle East, North Africa region; to form JV with Al-Futtaim Group thumbnail
PVR, the leading Indian multiplex player, is looking to expand its cinema exhibition business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Ajay Bijli-promoted company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai-based diversified business conglomerate Al-Futtaim Group to explore opportunities for jointly developing a cinema business in the MENA region.

“We see a great opportunity in taking the PVR brand to the MENA region, particularly expansion in UAE and entry into the Saudi Arabian market which has recently decided to open up the cinema industry,” Ajay Bijli, CMD, PVR, said.

Al-Futtaim, which has real estate and retail businesses, will control 51% in the joint venture, while PVR will bring the technical knowhow and operational management of the cinema exhibition business. PVR will consolidate equal share in topline and bottomline from the business.

Bijli told ET that the expansion into MENA will not be at the cost of Indian business. “India is not slowing down for us and there is a huge potential here too as the market remains underserved. However, PVR as a brand has been making waves into the international markets, especially where there is a large audience for Indian films. As we were getting a lot of enquiries, we felt it is a good opportunity,” Bijli said.

The joint venture will introduce a collection of experiential cinema formats to the region including, PVR’s Director’s Cut. Al-Futtaim has already identified locations in Dubai Festival City and Festival Plaza and is in discussion with landlords to secure other locations in Dubai and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“We already have identified four properties, two will be in the luxury and premium format, while other two will be large, multi-screen various formats. We will look at each of the properties individually for viability,” Bijli further added.

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