Ekta Kapoor, the joint Managing Director of Balaji Telefilms and the Managing Director of ALTBalaji, has confirmed that the production house is open to inducting strategic or financial partners who see value in the TV business and OTT verticals of the firm as it looks to aggressively grow and take on both domestic rivals and global streaming giants.
On July 23, 2020, Moneycontrol had reported that Balaji Telefilms had kickstarted its search for investors.
In an exclusive interview to Moneycontrol, Kapoor said,
“Anyone who sees value and growth of this business can be a part of that journey to grow this business. Investment..of course, you will require more money to take on such big daddies like Netflix and Amazon who are going to go regional.”
Elaborating on the firm’s regional plans, Kapoor quipped, “My main game is going to be regional. After three years, I would want to be in all languages. You will need a partner to see value in the business and not just the top line and bottom line. Of course, we want to be a buoyant company, we don’t want to lose money, but the first main game in the next five years is to eat up the market, you are going to want to grow your market. It’s something we are looking at and we have hired (IDFC Securities) to take this forward. It’s going to be an interesting journey because they are going to be many “what if’s” coming into play when we look at taking an investment. “
When questioned about different potential suitors having different appetites, Kapoor added: “For now, we are pretty much financially stable, we have a great partner, we are going ahead and making 57 shows and maybe by next year we will want to go regional, we will want to go international, maybe have a base of 300 Indian shows and for that we will need more investment. At that time a partner would come into play. For now, we are just starting the journey. Like I said , it’s at an early stage, there has to be an alliance, synergy and value addition for both the parties first, but we are definitely open."
Reliance Industries owns a 24.92 percent stake in Balaji Telefilms. The firm has a current market cap of around Rs 832 crore and the promoters hold a 34.33 percent stake. It has a total cash balance of Rs 239 crores, including investments in Bank FD and Mutual Funds at Rs 163 cr & short term working capital in movies of Rs 76 crores.
Follow the link below to read the second part of the interview:
Ekta Kapoor on challenges for streaming peer Netflix, Direct OTT release controversy and content regulation