Leading cinema chains PVR Limited and Inox Leisure have announced a merger which—subject to stakeholder approval—will see the creation of a new giant in the Indian exhibition space.
Boasting 871 screens in 181 cinemas (PVR) and 675 screens in 160 cinemas (Inox), respectively, the two chains are the largest in of India, which in 2021 was the seventh biggest cinema market outside North America. The country’s exhibitors have been hard-hit by the Covid pandemic, with grosses dropping from $1.6B in 2019 to $0.4B in 2020 and $0.5B in 2021, per data in the MPA’s yearly THEME (Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment) reports.
Pending approval from the boards of both chains, PVR and Inox will unite to form a single entity, with Pavan Kumar Jain as Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, PVR Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Bijli as Managing Director, Sanjeev Kumar as Executive Director, and Inox Leisure Director Siddharth Jain as Non-Executive Non-Independent Director. Currently-operating theaters will maintain their existing branding, while new cinemas opened after the merger will operate under the name PVR Inox.
“[The] coming together of two iconic cinema brands, which are driven by passion, is certainly the most historic moment in the Indian cinema exhibition industry,” says Inox’s Siddharth Jain. “Both companies have set high service benchmarks in an endeavor to offer the best cinema experience in the world, to the most passionate moviegoers, and would continue to do so as a unified entity. As we head into the industry’s revival amidst headwinds, this decisive partnership would bring in enhanced
productivity through scale, a deeper reach in newer markets and numerous cost optimization opportunities, and continue to delight cinema fans with world-class experiences and landmark innovations.”
PVR’s Bijli echoes the historic import of the merger, which he notes “brings together two companies with significantly complementary strengths. The partnership of these two brands will put consumer at the center of its vision and deliver an unparalleled movie going experience to them. The film exhibition sector has been one of the worst impacted sectors on account of the pandemic and creating scale to achieve efficiencies is critical for the long-term survival of the business and fight the onslaught of digital OTT platforms.”
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