Bollywood Giant Floats in London
Bollywood's colour and spectacle is to come face to face with the rather more sober pinstripes of the City after Eros International announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange - a move that could see the Indian film group valued at more than $400m (£210m).
The privately held Eros, which hopes to raise $100m from the flotation, is believed to be the world's leading distributor of Hindi films with an average of 35 movies a year over the past 14 years.
From its founding in 1977, the company has been responsible for an estimated 40% of the Bollywood films distributed in Britain over the past eight years. In the last nine months of last year Eros made a profit before tax, interest and goodwill of $12.6m on turnover of about $32.2m. It predicts annual sales of about $44m, at the low end of expectations.
Bollywood producers are prolific, but their revenues are very low compared with Hollywood films. PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that Bollywood industry revenues were $1.25bn in 2004, enough to cover just a few blockbusters.