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DQ Entertainment restructures French arm, floats new entity with two partners

MUMBAI: Tapaas Chakravarti-promoted DQ Entertainment (International) Limited, a Hyderabad-based animation, game art and entertainment company, is restructuring its French sister company Method Animation, in which it holds 20 per cent stake.

DQE’s French arm has joined local companies Onyx Films and Chapter 2 to float a common holding company called On Entertainment Group.

On Entertainment has total revenue of €34 million (approximately Rs 283 crore or Rs 2.83 billion) and an operating profit of €5.2 million. It has lined up several projects for 2014 and 2015.

DQE hopes to benefit from this expansion plan as it will be shouldering some of the work from domestic facility.

DQ Entertainment CEO Tapaas Chakravati said, “We look forward to partnering with On Entertainment on new productions, combining the unique strengths and resources that the two groups represents.”

DQ Entertainment is hugely optimistic about the prospects of On Entertainment. As per the DQ forecast, On Entertainment will grow at a rapid pace over the next five years. It sees capital infusion leading to an increase in liquidity of the group and availability of funds for future productions.

Method Animation CEO Aton Soumache envisioned a catalogue of characters that can be monetised in various markets.

On Entertainment has already raised €10 million from Canadian investment fund Ohana Capital, Gallic entrepreneur Laurent Dassault’s holding company LDRP, and France’s biggest rights-brokers and owner of 14 pay TV channels, the AB Group.

DQ outlined On Entertainment’s various projects for 2014 and 2015 that include a film titled ‘Paradise Lost’ based on the life of Pablo Escobar, to be made on an €20-million budget, starring Benicio Del Toro and Josh Hutcherson.

‘Kung Fu Panda’ fame Mark Osborne will be directing ‘Le Petit Prince’, an animated film with a budget of €57 million. The film is slated for a global release in the second half of 2015, the company said.

Chapter 2 CEO Dimitri Rassam said, “The group intends to make two films per year with significant budgets for worldwide distribution.”

DQ Entertainment’s scrip ended the day at Rs 34.25, down 4.45 per cent, as against the previous close of Rs 35.85 a share.