Wonderla Holidays,promoted by Kerala based Rs 1,500 crore V-Guard Group,is currently in talks with private equity companies to raise about Rs 250 crore for its expansion plans,a top company official has said.
“We are going to raise about Rs 250 crore through equity,mostly through IPO route or through private equity. We are working on that right now. Our initial plan was to go only through IPO. But (now) we have got some good PE companies interested in us,” Wonderla Holidays MD Arun K Chittilappilly said.
He said the fund raising plan would be completed in 6 months time and the funds would be utilised for its third greenfield project planned in Hyderabad. Currently,Wonderla Holidays has two theme parks — one in Kochi and another in Bangalore.
“We will start work on our Hyderabad project within next couple of months. We just finished land acquisition there. The size of the land is about 50 acres and once that is
done,we will start working on that. For Chennai,we have not yet finished the acquisition of the land,it is still going on,” he said.
Chittilappilly said the company was planning to finish its first project in Chennai ahead of Hyderabad.
“Now we have finished the land acquisition in Hyderabad. We are going to build. It is a greenfield project. We will start from scratch there (Hyderabad). So,in 2015,we will open (third theme park) in Hyderabad and 2016 hopefully in Chennai.That is the plan”,he said.
Commenting on the company launching its first four-star resort adjacent to the existing theme park in Bangalore in 2012,he said,”We opened it in June. It is going well. We are averaging about 45 per cent occupancy ratio. We should hopefully get 60 per cent this year.”
Reacting to couple of accidents that took place in some of the theme parks located on the outskirts of Chennai last year,he said the company had established alcohol meter to check customers whether they were under the influence of alcohol.
He said the company was also planning to establish another resort close to the existing theme park in Kochi. “We are looking at doing another resort in Kochi. We are just waiting for some approvals.
The resort in Kochi will be similar to that in Bangalore. It will be of 85 rooms,with 1 lakh sq ft size on a 4 acres land. Excluding land,the investment will be about Rs 30
crore,” he said.
He said the resort in Cochin after obtaining the approvals was expected to begin operation in two years.
Asked about the peak season for the theme parks,he said,”It will be during April and May. Also during Christmas and New Year celebrations.In May,the occupancy will be definitely full. Currently,it is 50 per cent corporates while remaining it will be others”.