Subhash Ghai's Mukta Arts has lined up a $25m initial public offer on the Mumbai stock exchange for the second week of July, making it the first major Indian film production company to go corporate.
The 17-year-old company has produced a string of Hindi hits including Taal, the first Indian feature to make it into the US box office top 20. Ghai has ambitious expansion plans for the company which include building new production studios and setting up a research and training centre in Mumbai.
Ghai also plans to upgrade Mukta Arts' existing Mumbai studio to encompass animation and graphic facilities. The company will also diversify into television and music production.
Ghai plans to use the proceeds from the IPO to acquire rights to feature film, television and music properties, to set up distribution offices both in India and abroad and launch an internet portal covering various aspects of the film industry.
Several India production companies are preparing to float in the next six months, undaunted by local market instability triggered by the NASDAQ crash in April (see Screen International, June 23). B4U, the world's most popular Hindi movie channel, is planning a $120m float to fund expansion. Former film actor Dhiraj Kumar says his television software company also plans to raise about $25m from domestic investors to fund expansion plans.