Billionaire Ananda Krishnan to sell TGV cinemas?

KUALA LUMPUR: Speculation is rife that Ananda Krishnan would soon put his cinema business parked under TGV Cinemas Sdn Bhd up for sale following the disposal of his power assets.

TGV, which is wholly-owned by Tanjong plc, was said to have been up for sale a few years ago, but the deal had not gone through due to pricing issues, industry sources said.

TGV is the second largest cinema player in the country after Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd, which is owned by tycoon Robert Kuok's PPB Group Bhd.

TGV enjoyed an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of RM26.2mil on the back of RM153.86mil revenues in FY2010, according to Tanjong's annual report.

TGV's EBITDA has grown on an average of 20% every year since 2008. It should be noted that this growth tended to be in sync with the number of cinemas opened.

TGV has 124 cinema halls throughout Malaysia housed in 16 outlets. TGV has its presence in some of the prime locations in the Klang Valley, including the Suria Mall in the Petronas Twin Towers, which has seen the strongest annual growth compared with other locations.

GSC has 192 screens and it plans to add 100 more.

In 2008, Tanjong had bought out other shareholders in its business and came to own 100% equity in TGV. The other shareholders were Golden Harvest Cinemas Holding Ltd and Global Entertainment and Management Systems Sdn Bhd who sold their stakes in TGV to Tanjong for about RM40mil.

The local cinema market has two other smaller players namely Lotus Five Star Cinema and MBO Cinemas.

Lotus Five Star Cinema is a joint venture between BIG Cinemas, a member of the India based Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and the Lotus Group (which also owns the popular Lotus Family Restaurants business). Lotus Five Star Cinema mostly screens films for the Indian community in Malaysia.

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