Imax Corporation has signed an agreement with India's E-Citi Entertainment, a subsidiary of the ESSEL Group of Industries, to open a minimum of six IMAX theatres in India over the next four years. The deal includes an option to build up to 20 theatres in family entertainment centres which E-Citi is in the process of setting up in 23 cities across the sub-continent.

ESSEL Group's interests include Zee Telefilms, the largest satellite TV broadcaster in India, cable network Siti Cable and Hindi-movie pay-TV channel Zee Cinema.

Imax is currently in the process of "exploring strategic alternatives to maximize value for shareholders" according to a statement yesterday, including a sale of the company which is proving more difficult than originally anticipated. "Imax does not intend to make any further comments on the process until its conclusion," said the statement.