Reliance MediaWorks tackles debt

It aims to raise $107 mill via rights issue

LONDON — International film services company Reliance MediaWorks, part of Indian billionaire Anil Ambani’s conglom, is raising $107 million to pay down debt, it announced Wednesday.

It is planning a rights issue of equity shares to its shareholders.

Reliance MediaWorks has expanded rapidly in the last three years, acquiring Lowry Digital in Burbank and London’s iLab. It has also set up a Hollywood benchmarked studio in Mumbai and partnered with Digital Domain to start vfx and 3D production services studios in Mumbai and London.

The expansion was funded through a debt of $214 million and the company has since incurred capital expenditure of $71 million. Its liabilities were $413 million, per its March 31 financial report, and Reliance is now looking to cut this debt.

It began the process on July 18, selling what it called “a substantial minority stake” to an unnamed private equity fund for $108 million.

MediaWorks’ sister company Reliance Big Entertainment has a majority stake in film sales and financing banner IM Global. It is also backing DreamWorks Studios with $825 million and has development deals with Nicolas Cage’s Saturn Films, Jim Carrey’s JC 23 Entertainment, George Clooney’s Smokehouse Prods., Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures, Tom Hanks’ Playtone, Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment, Jay Roach’s Everyman Pictures, Brett Ratner’s Rat Entertainment, Julia Roberts’ Red Om Films and Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment.

Reliance MediaWorks’ new CEO Venkatesh Roddam will relocate to Burbank from Mumbai on Oct. 1.