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SCOOP: Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions in talks with Adani Group to sell 30% stake?
2020 turned out to be a roller-coaster ride for Karan Johar as he was targeted by trolls after the untimely demise of Sushant Singh Rajput. But on the positive side, this is also the year when he took some significant decisions for his company, Dharma Productions. The esteemed company announced that it is joining hands with Cornerstone talent management agency and that the new company will be called Dharma Cornerstone Agency (DCA). A few days later, it was reported that Dharma had signed a five-film deal with Lyca Productions that has produced Tamil biggies like 2.0 (2018).
And now the latest buzz going around in the industry is that Karan Johar has also got into an association with Gautam Adani’s Adani group. A source says, “The Adani Group has diversified into various businesses like energy, resources, logistics, agribusiness, real estate, financial services, defence, etc. It is now looking forward to making a mark in the entertainment industry. And the management has decided to tie-up with Dharma Productions as it is one of the biggest banners of the country. The Adanis wish to acquire a 30% stake in Dharma. Karan Johar and his core team have begun discussions with them and reportedly, both the parties are in advanced negotiations.”
A trade expert says, “This will be a significant development in the business world, if it happens. And it’ll be a win-win situation for both. For Adanis, it’ll prove beneficial as Dharma is a top company. For Karan, a partnership with Adani will add to his brand. Like every other producer, even he had to bear losses due to Covid-19. The Adani partnership will scale-up his company and also aid him in his dream project, Takht. Also, the immediate benefit would be that the cash flow that will happen by selling 30% stake will help him with his under-production films.”
An industry insider meanwhile said, “Karan Johar has delivered successful films in recent times like Good Newwz, Kesari, Simmba and Raazi but has also had a tough time with some of his projects. The magnum opus Brahmastra has taken a lot of time due to VFX and the lockdown. It was supposed to release in December 2019 and was then postponed to December 2020. Because of the pandemic, the pending shoot couldn’t be done and the film has now been postponed to summer 2021. The delay has led to mounting costs. Besides, Karan has many more films on floors or awaiting release like Shershaah, Dostana 2, Jug Jugg Jeeyo, Fighter, Shakun Batra’s next etc. These projects were launched when times were normal but now recovery and even achieving estimated earnings will pose a challenge. Meanwhile, his protégé Shashank Khaitan is doing well as a producer but off late, he has been four times unlucky as director. Four of his films – Rannbhoomi, spy thriller with Varun Dhawan, Mr. Lele and now Yoddha have been shelved. Yoddha might still be revived later on but right now, it is in the backburner. These films were in pre-production and some money was spent on them, which of course would now not be recovered. Looking at these reasons, the buying of 30% stake by Adanis would infuse renewed vigour for the Dharma team.”
Bollywood Hungama reached out to Apoorva Mehta, CEO of Dharma Productions, but he was unavailable for comment.
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