Home >Companies >Eros scouts for JVs, deals to enter Bengali, Telugu films

Mumbai: Eros International Media Ltd is looking for joint ventures or acquisitions to expand into regional language markets, especially Telugu and Bengali, a top official told Reuters on Thursday.

Eros, a unit of Eros International Plc , is already present in the Tamil, Marathi and Punjabi language markets and has plans of increasing its presence there and foraying into languages such as Bengali and T elugu. Eros gets about 10-15% of its revenue from regional language cinema.

“We are looking at it because if we really have to grow faster, the fastest way to grow is to acquire somebody or to associate with somebody," chief financial officer Kamal Jain told Reuters on the sidelines of the Ficci Frames conference for the media industry.

“we are looking for growth in these markets, may be starting with direct films with some lead stars there, understanding that particular market and then may be doing a tie-up. Or, we could do the tie-up first and then expand. Discussions are going on."

Eros forayed into Tamil films, its first in regional languages, in 2007 by acquiring a 51% stake in production house Ayngaran , which has a dominant market share in the Tamil content and distribution industry.

The company traditionally invests about 15% of its capital expenditure in regional films and the rest on Hindi language films, Jain said.

Game-changing year?

Eros has lined up more than 50 releases for FY12 across Hindi and other regional languages and expects the year to be very promising for the company.

The company, which made a profit of 83 crore in FY10, expects to clock a profit of 10 crore to 115 crore this fiscal. “We have almost 8-10 big releases, which means almost every quarter we have 2-3 big ones," Jain said.

“We feel FY12 would be a game-changing year for us."

Eros has signed syndication deals for almost 60-70% of these releases, Jain said. About 20% to 25% of revenue comes from syndication deals for content.

The company has recently sold syndication rights for its upcoming sci-fi movie slated for a Diwali release,

RA One , starring Shah Rukh Khan, for a “very good price,".

It has signed content-sharing deals with video-sharing site YouTube to monetize content of non-conventional platforms and expects new media would be a major thrust going forward.

The company is also planning to bring about 8-10 major film projects under production in FY12, Jain added.

“We would be releasing these in FY12 and FY13. These are all the big ones."

Eros has earmarked a capex of 900 crore to 1 100 crore for the next two fiscal years, to be funded through internal accruals and proceeds from its splashing initial public offering last year.

In Oct, the Indian unit of Eros International raised 350 crore via its IPO to fund acquisition, and co-produce Hindi and other regional films.

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