MUMBAI: Ronnie Screwvala promoted UTV Software Communications Ltd’s movie division – UTV Motion Pictures – is all set to be listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange. UTV will transfer all its domestic and international motion picture production activities into its listed overseas subsidiary.
Apart from UTV Motion Pictures, the other Bollywood company that is listed on the AIM is Eros International.
UTV’s present Hollywood motion picture business including co-productions like Mira NairÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s The Namesake, Chris RockÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s I think I Love My Wife, Will Smith and also M Night Shayamlana’s The Happening and its worldwide distribution activity of Indian movies including, were a part of its overseas subsidiaries. The companyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s film production businesses worldwide (including the movie production slate of Indian movies) will be part of the listed entity going forward.
Screwvala lists the reasons explaining the transfer and overseas listing saying, “The reasons are manifold. Firstly, we have matured our movie studio business to a leadership position both in South Asia and globally and we need to unlock value for our UTV shareholders. Secondly, in India we are constantly benchmarked with “pure play” Hindi movie producers – and our movie model is far more robust, stable and global than anyone in South Asia and we believe that international investors on overseas stock exchanges understand such a mature model better. Thirdly, we will produce more Indian movies than international ones, but in two years over 50 per cent of our motion picture revenues will come from International markets. Also, some US Studios are in advanced stages with us – in their interest to partner with us in India and an overseas structure supports this alliance.”
“It is our intent to position UTV Motion Pictures as a Global Indian movie major and so our overseas listing will facilitate M&AÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s, alliances and JVs in the main international markets with global film companies. With our close association with global creative brands like Mira Nair, Chris Rock, Will Smith, M Night Shyamalan, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Ashutosh Gowariker and Vishal Bhardwaj – along with media majors like Fox, Disney and Sony – we are very uniquely positioned as an Indian company in the international marketplace,” he added.
While Screwvala declined to comment on the valuations at this stage, he however said, “Most of our key developments have unfolded recently and so we aim to get true value for our recent consolidation and line up. On timelines we are hopeful of completing the entire exercise in less than three-four months.”