India’s largest multiplex operators PVR, INOX to merge, creating cinema giant

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India’s two largest multiplex firms said on Sunday they would merge to create a giant cinema operator with more than 1,500 screens across 109 cities as the entertainment industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PVR and INOX Leisure said the merger, which is subject to regulatory approvals, would help both companies improve efficiency, reach newer markets and optimize cost.

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“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,” PVR Chairman Ajay Bijli said in a press release.

Over-the-top, or OTT, platforms such Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video and Disney have made deep inroads in India, where the pandemic ravaged a film industry known for song-and-dance spectacles watched by millions.

PVR is India’s largest multiplex chain with more than 850 screens, followed by INOX Leisure with about 650 screens.

The merger follows a two-year period when most theatres were shut due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Read more: Indian cinemas reopen after shutdown for seven months amid coronavirus pandemic

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