Bangalore-based Prestige Group has partnered a global mall operator to float a 50:50 joint venture company.
 
Irfan Razack, Chairman and Managing Director, Prestige Group declining to name the company, said, “We recently signed an agreement to float a joint venture company and the partner will be announced shortly after their board approves.”
 
“The joint venture company, when it becomes operational some time next fiscal, will bring in mall operation expertise to the table and its participation will be by way of private equity,” he added.
 
“Prestige Group for its expansions and project completion has raised $75 million debt from JP Morgan. This is likely to take care of the expenses till we go in for an IPO sometime in the next two years,” he further added.
 
On Monday, Prestige Group announced its tie up with PVR Ltd, a national-level multiplex operator, to open and operate 60 screens in south India.
 
According to Pramod Arora, president and CEO, PVR Ltd, said, “The company is partnering Prestige’s Forum Malls as anchor tenants in south Indian cities. We are to spend about Rs 80 crore to Rs 85 crore spread over 2 years to 3 years in ope-rationalising multiplex screens.”
 
“People in south India have embraced the brand PVR, with PVR, Bangalore being the highest grossing multiplex across the country and also attracting the highest number of footfalls,” said Sanjeev Kuamr Bijli, joint managing director, PVR Ltd.
 
Prestige group also announced retail push into south India through ‘Forum Mall’. “The company is planning to build 10 malls with a budget of Rs 3,000 crore in south India cities of Hyderabad, Chennai, Mysore, Kochi, Mangalore and two in Bangalore. Malls are to come up with shopping, entertainment, multiplex, parking component which are to be fully functional by 2010,” said Irfan Razack.
 
“To fund this retail expansion, the company plans to raise 40 per cent internally and the balance through a mix of bank borrowings and private equity (PE). Presently, we have been approached by a lot of PE funds, but we are still to yet to firm up our own plans before talking to them seriously,” he added.
 
Prestige group is expecting 30 per cent realisation of Shantiniketan project in Whitefield to get reflected in this year’s (FY 2007-08) books to touch around Rs 800 crore.
 
In 2006-07, company’s revenues were Rs 550 crore through a mix of retail (mall), residential and hospitality projects.
Source:Business Standard