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PVR gets CCI nod to acquire DT Cinemas, albeit with riders

MUMBAI: Multiplex chain operator PVR has been allowed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to acquire DT Cinemas, the DLF group’s multiplex arm, albeit with certain conditions.

While PVR can snap up 32 screens of DT Cinemas, it has to let go of seven screens. CCI said the gobbling up of full 39 screens would have made PVR the dominant player in Noida, Gurgaon and South Delhi.

In June 2015, PVR had announced the acquisition of DT Cinemas for Rs 500 crore (Rs 5 billion).

As per the CCI stricture, PVR has also agreed not to acquire any new screens for three years in Noida, as well as Gurgaon, and for five years in South Delhi. It will have to scrap agreements to develop multiplexes with Garden Galleria Mall (Noida) and Airia Mall (Gurgaon).

DT Cinemas, on its part, will now need to sell the other seven screens in South Delhi to anybody other than PVR.

PVR and DT Cinemas will, thus, have to rework the commercial terms.

With this deal, PVR will have 551 screens in 46 cities across India. After PVR, the second-largest player is Inox, which operates over 420 screens.

Carnival Films has taken the acquisition route to become the third-largest plex operator. Its biggest acquisition was that of Big Cinemas.