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Others Ultra to expand video business

Ultra to expand video business

Author | Source: Business Standard | Saturday, Sep 13,2008 8:24 AM

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Ultra to expand video business

Public issue to raise Rs 200 cr on cards.

The Ultra Group, a home video company, has firmed up major expansion plans in television, Bollywood and film-distribution segments. The company is also considering going public to raise Rs 200 crore by May 2009.

Ultra Group Managing Director Susheel Kumar Agarwal said the company is scouting for an investor for a pre-IPO placement, in which it will offload 20-25 per cent of the paid-up capital. The valuation of the company is over Rs 300 crore.

After a short stint with Hindi film production, the company is revamping its film production strategy.

"We will release one film by the end of FY09. The film is in the scripting stage. For the next year, we have earmarked an investment of Rs 20 crore for three movies. We plan to make small-budget films since big stars are not available," said Agarwal. Ultra is also investing Rs 100 crore in the next three years for making six Marathi films a year.

Ultra has acquired distribution rights of three Hollywood flicks slated for release this year. The first to hit the screens is Lakeshore Production's Elegy (in September), followed by a Chinese action comedy, Twins Mission (in October), and a Korean action film, Divine Weapon. Of the three films, only Twins Mission and Divine Weapon will be dubbed in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. The company also plans to distribute around eight Hollywood movies a year.

"We are looking at a host of options in the television sector such as licensing movie telecast rights to cable operators, among others. There will be more clarity in two months," said Agarwal.

Meanwhile, Ultra is in the process of releasing DVDs of its television serials Jai Hanuman, The Sword of Tipu Sultan and The Great Maratha. The first to be made available is Jai Hanuman, a set of 36 DVDs priced at Rs 2,999 and Rs 2,499 for 89 VCDs. The pricing of the other two serials is being finalised.

Ultra has a catalogue of 1,500 titles even after it sold around 900 titles to Moser Baer.

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