Meher Khanna – Televisionpoint.com | Hyderabad
AIM-listed animation firm DQ Entertainment is on the lookout for possible acquisitions in the US, Canada and Europe to make it easier to bag co-production deals with global majors, but, it is learnt that 100 per cent buyouts don’t figure in the agenda.
Hyderabad-based DQE, which announced its latest co-production arrangement on June 29 for an animated TV series based on the noted dog character ‘Lassie’, said the kind of companies it is targeting would typically have revenues of around $ 8-9 million and 50-60 staff, but more importantly, own intellectual property rights that could be leveraged for securing business.
Tapaas Chakravarti, chairman and chief executive officer, DQE, said likely deals could be structured on the lines of the agreement with the French company Method Films, where no attempt was made to change the character of the European undertaking.
Last year, DQ announced that it is picking up a 20 per cent stake in Method. However, he did not elaborate on the likely holding that DQ would be eyeing during future takeovers.
“We are not interested in buying companies based in India as we don’t feel they have much to contribute, except manpower. And getting people has never been our problem,” he added.
Chakravarti said DQ has thus far not felt the heat of the global economic downturn. In a way, the worldwide crisis has actually worked in DQ’s favour as the urge to cut costs has made large entertainment companies more receptive to the idea of co-productions, he added.
The DQ chairman said the group intends to augment headcount by 550-600 by March-April 2010 to service the additional business coming its way. DQ presently employs nearly 4000 staff across all its facilities. The majority of the fresh intake, though, would happen in Hyderabad.
Chakravarti said DQ has no immediate plans to start facilities at newer centres. Instead, it wants to grow at places it already has a presence in. “Satyajit Ray’s popular detective Feluda should be available in animation next year,” he added.
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