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RIL announces Rs 70,352 cr JV with Walt Disney
Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

RIL announces Rs 70,352 cr JV with Walt Disney

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 28 Feb 2024, 09:17 pm

Mumbai: Reliance Industries, led by Mukesh Ambani, and Walt Disney announced on Wednesday the finalisation of binding agreements to establish a joint venture merging the operations of Viacom18 and Star India, media reports said.

Reliance Industries will inject Rs 11,500 crore into the joint venture for its expansion.

Under the arrangement, Viacom18's media business will be integrated into Star India Pvt Ltd through a court-approved scheme.

The valuation of the joint venture stands at Rs 70,352 crore ($8.5 billion) post-transaction, excluding synergies. Following the outlined steps, Reliance Industries will hold controlling interest, owning 16.34%, while Viacom18 and Disney will own 46.82% and 36.84%, respectively.

Nita Ambani will serve as the Chairperson of the joint venture, with Uday Shankar as Vice Chairperson offering strategic guidance, according to a joint statement.

Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said: “This is a landmark agreement that heralds a new era in the Indian entertainment industry. We have always respected Disney as the best media group globally and are very excited at forming this strategic joint venture that will help us pool our extensive resources, creative prowess, and market insights to deliver unparalleled content at affordable prices to audiences across the nation. We welcome Disney as a key partner of Reliance group.”

The completion of the transaction is contingent upon obtaining regulatory, shareholder, and other standard approvals. It is anticipated to conclude either in the final quarter of 2024 or the initial quarter of 2025.

Once finalised, the joint venture will gain exclusive privileges for the distribution of Disney movies and productions in India. Additionally, it will be granted a license encompassing over 30,000 Disney content assets, thereby offering a comprehensive array of entertainment choices for the Indian audience.

Bob Iger, CEO of Walt Disney said: “Reliance has a deep understanding of the Indian market and consumer, and together we will create one of the country’s leading media companies, allowing us to better serve consumers with a broad portfolio of digital services and entertainment and sports content.”

Both Reliance and Disney possess their own streaming platforms and collectively own 120 television channels. This agreement is projected to enhance Reliance's dominance in India's $28 billion media and entertainment sector.

The combined entity of Reliance and Disney will emerge as a powerful force in one of the globe's most rapidly expanding entertainment markets. Notably, in 2022, Mukesh Ambani's Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd outmaneuvered Disney to secure the streaming rights for the Indian Premier League.

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