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19 Oct 2010

MGM looking to team up with Indian company for theme park
BY Martin Nash

The Lavasa city development near Mumbai

The Lavasa city development near Mumbai

The Mumbai-based Lavasa Corporation is reported to be in discussions with MGM Studios about creating a US$100m (£63.5m) theme park in Lonavla, to the south east of Mumbai itself.

While the franchise agreement is for 25 years, Lavasa will have exclusive use of MGM properties across the country for an as yet undisclosed period.

Under the deal - upon which the company has so far declined to comment - Lavasa will be allowed to set up theme parks based on more than 450 brands owned by MGM, including James Bond and the Pink Panther.

The first park will occupy between 65-70 acres in Lavasa city - around 180km from Mumbai - which is being built as a planned development under India's Hill Station policy.

The company - a subsidiary of the Hindustan Construction Company - is planning to set up a special purpose vehicle to fund the theme park and, if necessary, will involve a financial partner to help execute the project.

Lavasa is also said to have organised a tie-up with US space research organisation NASA, with a view to setting up a space amusement centre in the same location.

Image: an artist's impression of the Lavasa city development

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