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Imagicaaworld Entertainment is being acquired by Malpani Group in a joint venture with Aditya Birla ARC.

According to two people familiar with the development, the Malpani Group has partnered with Varda Capital-backed Aditya Birla Asset Reconstruction Company to jointly acquire the distressed loans of Manmohan Shetty’s Imagicaaworld Entertainment Ltd, in a deal that will bring lenders Rs 575 crore.

After three years of negotiations, the Malpani Group has proposed to buy Imagicaaworld in an out-of-court settlement negotiated between banks and the company. The Malpani Group will receive a preferential issuance of shares worth Rs 500 crore under the proposed structure, giving it a 70 percent ownership in the distressed theme-park operator.

According to the people, the Malpani Group, as the largest stakeholder, would then offer Rs 500 crore as a one-time settlement to Imagicaaworld’s lenders. Lenders would receive a 13 percent ownership stake in the company, valued at Rs 75 crore, as part of the arrangement. The Rs 575 crore settlement offer translates to a 40% recovery for the lenders.

Despite a cut from lenders, Manmohan Shetty, the producer of Bollywood films, will own 5% of Imagicaaworld. Shetty currently owns 31.08 percent of the listed firm through related entities.

As of March 31, 2021, Imagicaaworld, formerly Adlabs Entertainment, had a total debt of Rs 1,417 crore. As previously reported, Union Bank of India rejected promoter Shetty’s Rs 575 crore one-time settlement offer in 2019 in anticipation of larger bids.

Because lenders have still to obtain board clearance and then hold a Swiss auction inviting counteroffers, the transaction is expected to finalise in the June quarter, according to one of the lenders.

Under the Imagica brand, Imagicaaworld owns and runs a theme park and a water park, as well as a hotel under the Novotel Imagicaa brand. The theme park is located in Khopoli, off the Mumbai-Pune Express Highway, and spans 130 acres, including 30 acres of unutilised land and with a surplus land area of 203 acres.

The lead bank, Union Bank of India, has the largest outstanding loan to the company, at Rs 429 crore, followed by Bank of Baroda at Rs 320 crore. Canara Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, J&K Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Life Insurance Corporation, and Ares SSG Capital-backed Assets Care & Reconstruction Company are among the other lenders.

Source: Economic Times

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