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Pyramid Saimira close to buying gaming firm

BS Reporter  |  Mumbai 

Entertainment company Pyramid Saimira is close to acquiring UK-based gaming company Aurona Games.
According to sources, the acquisition is valued at around $20 million. The announcement is likely to be made in the coming week. This will be Pyramid's foray into the gaming space.
So far, the company has been operating in film exhibition, distribution and production. When contacted, P S Saminathan, managing director, Pyramid Saimira, refused to comment on the development.
Aurona is headquartered in London and also has a back office in Hyderabad. Pyramid will drive Aurona's presence in India through this acquisition, said sources.
Pyramid has been strategically aligning itself with to fuel its growth in the entertainment space. In November, it acquired 51 per cent stake in Mumbai-based advertising company Dimples Cine Advertising and Dimples Cine Activations.
The Pyramid Saimira Group via its subsidiary Pyramid Saimira Theatre, operates over 44 multiplexes (703 screens) in India, Malaysia, Singapore and North America.
By 2010, the company intends to own over 175 multiplexes with 1,000 screens in India. With the stake acquisition in Dimples, Pyramid plans to foray into theatre advertising, out-of-home advertising, and so on.
In an earlier interview with Business Standard, Saminathan had said that the company plans to acquire 50 single-screen halls in Mumbai alone. It has also acquired Liberty Cinema.
On the exhibition front, the company will on an ongoing basis invest over Rs 12 crore each year. Last year, the company entered the US market after acquiring Texas-based theatre chain FunAsia (17 screens) through its subsidiary Pyramid Saimira Entertainment America. It intends to increase its footprint in the UK as well.
In the film distribution space, according to Saminathan, Pyramid's target is to distribute 200 films a year including Hindi films and aims to earn around Rs 700-800 crore from distribution and around Rs 400 crore from film production.

First Published: Thu, January 24 2008. 00:00 IST