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PVR files complaint with Sebi against filmmaker Ronnie Screwvala

FE Bureau
PVR, Sebi, filmmaker Ronnie Screwvala, Ronnie Screwvala, film, industry, news

Multiplex chain PVR on Thursday said it has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) against filmmaker Ronnie Screwvala for making misleading and false statements against the company, adversely affecting its stock price. We believe that Screwvala s repeated tweets, retweets and false statements are leading to artificial volatility in the stock price of PVR as he continues to provide information which is untrue and misleading, PVR said in the complaint to the market regulator.

Last month, Screwvala sought the Competition Commission of India s (CCI) intervention against the draconian discriminatory virtual print fee (VPF) levied on movie makers by multiplexes.

Screwvala named PVR, Inox Leisure, Cinepolis India, and Carnival Cinemas along with Multiplex Association of India in the petition filed with the CCI, accusing them of collusion and cartelisation.

The filmmaker said multiplexes charge Rs 20,000 for every film screened in every theatre as VPF and these four multiplex operators add Rs 400 crore to their profits each year through VPF.

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In the complaint, PVR, however, said the published financial results of two leading multiplex chains, PVR and Inox, would indicate the total revenue earned from VPF in the year to March 2018 was Rs 17.24 crore and Rs 24.64 crore, respectively. VPF is charged to filmmakers and film distributors by multiplex operators for replacing physical projectors with digital projectors.

In retaliation to Screwvala s move, Inox refused to screen his latest movie Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota, according to media reports. Since March 19, 2018, when Screwvala made the allegations, the stock price of PVR on BSE lost 2.3% at close on April 4, 2019. The stocks, however, on Friday gained 1.22% to close at Rs 1,677.60 apiece.

In the interim, we also request you to issue appropriate directions to Screwvala to cease and desist from providing misleading and false information on the business of PVR, which could further result in stock price volatility and adversely impact shareholders of the company, PVR said in its complaint.