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RIL inks pact with Disney to merge Viacom18 and Star India

26 Mar 2024 , 03:17 PM

Reliance Industries and Disney have inked a definitive agreement to create a joint venture that would integrate the activities of Viacom 18 and Star India. The months-long negotiations will result in a media juggernaut with operations in TV broadcasting, streaming, films, and sports.

As part of the acquisition, RIL has pledged to spend around ₹11,500 Crore ($1.4 billion) in the JV to support its expansion goal.

The joint venture is valued at ₹70,352 Crore ($8.5 billion) post-money, excluding synergies. Following the merger, RIL will control the joint venture with a 16.34% share.

Meanwhile, Viacom18 will hold 46.82%, with Disney owning around 36.84%.

Nita Ambani is set to lead the Joint Venture as Chairperson, while Uday Shankar will assume the role of Vice Chairperson, providing strategic guidance to the JV. The projected Star-Viacom18 merger will be a major power in the television broadcasting sector, with over 100 channels including Star Plus, Colours, and Star Sports.

The company will also operate two streaming platforms, Disney+ Hotstar and JioCinema, with dominating market shares in the subscription and advertising video-on-demand markets.

'This is a historic accord that ushers in a new era for the Indian entertainment sector. We have always regarded Disney as the best media group in the world, and we are thrilled to form this strategic joint venture that will allow us to pool our extensive resources, creative prowess, and market insights to deliver unparalleled content at affordable prices to audiences across the country,' said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of RIL.

The JV will also be awarded exclusive distribution rights to Disney films and projects in India, as well as a licence to over 30,000 Disney intellectual assets, providing the Indian consumer with a comprehensive range of entertainment alternatives.

The deal is subject to regulatory, shareholder, and other customary clearances and is scheduled to close in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2024 or the first quarter of calendar year 2025.

For feedback and suggestions, write to us at editorial@iifl.com

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Related Tags

  • Disney
  • Reliance Industries
  • RIL
  • Star India
  • VIACOM18
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