Balaji Motion Pictures eyes international funding; NSE listing

MUMBAI: Balaji Motion Pictures has lately been active on the film production and distribution business. With an eye trained firmly on the motion picture business, the company is now looking at listing on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) by year end. The mother company – Balaji Telefilms – is already listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) as well as the NSE.

Additionally, Balaji Motion Pictures will also see investment being pumped in from a US based funding firm. The motion picture wing of Balaji has been valued in the range of Rs 6.5 – 7.5 billion (Rs 650 – 750 crores). The valuation includes the company’s movies that are already in various stages of production, the new slate of movies and also the distribution business.

Confirming the news to, Balaji Motion Pictures CEO Ramesh Sippy says, “Balaji is looking at external funding. The company we have finalized will be investing a small percentage in Balaji. Together we have agreed upon Rs 650 – 750 crores as the valuation of the company till 2010.”

However, Sippy refused to share details about the funding company or the amount being funded. Sources inform that the amount will be up 10 – 15 per cent, thus amounting to a maximum of Rs 1 billion (Rs 100 crores), which the company may require for deployment towards its new projects. The term sheet is likely to be signed once the stock market stabilises.

The new slate of directors signed by Balaji Motion Pictures includes Tigmanshu Dhulia and Mahesh Manjrekar for one film each, Apoorva Lakhia and Rohit Shetty for two films each. The current slate already includes Mission Istanbul, EMI, Little Godfather and Raaste in co-production with Popcorn Motion Pictures and Woodstock Villa with White Feather Films. It also has a seven and five film co-production deal T-Series and Percept Picture Company respectively. Its other home productions include C Company and Kya Kool Hain Hum 2.

On the domestic distribution front, the company’s Delhi office will start by the end of February or beginning March followed by Bangalore and Punjab offices; whereas the company’s international offices will take about a year’s time to start informs Sippy.