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Reliance and Disney officially declare joint venture

The collaboration between Reliance Industries (RIL), Viacom18, and The Walt Disney Company marks a significant milestone in the Indian entertainment industry. Through binding definitive agreements, the three entities have embarked on a joint venture (JV) aimed at merging the operations of Viacom18 with Star India. This consolidation will be executed through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

As part of the deal, RIL is set to inject INR 11,500 crore into the JV, underlining its commitment to the venture’s growth. The transaction values the JV at INR 70,352 crore, post-money, excluding synergies. Following the completion of the transactions, RIL will hold a controlling stake of 16.34% in the JV, with Viacom18 and Disney owning 46.82% and 36.84%, respectively.

The JV, under the leadership of Nita M. Ambani as chairperson and Uday Shankar as vice chairperson, aims to become a premier destination for television and digital streaming platforms. It will offer a comprehensive portfolio of entertainment and sports content, including popular channels like Colors, StarPlus, StarGold, and sports networks such as Star Sports and Sports18.




Reliance and Disney officially declare joint venture
Reliance and Disney officially declare joint venture

By leveraging the diverse content libraries and technology of Viacom18 and Star India, the JV seeks to drive the digital transformation of India’s media and entertainment landscape. The integration of Disney’s films and shows with Viacom18’s extensive productions promises to deliver an innovative digital entertainment experience to Indian audiences and the global Indian diaspora.

Disney will grant exclusive distribution rights for its films and productions in India to the JV, providing access to over 30,000 Disney content assets. This move will enrich entertainment options for Indian consumers, solidifying the JV’s position as a leading provider of high-quality content across multiple platforms.

The transaction is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals and is expected to be finalized in the last quarter of calendar year 2024 or the first quarter of calendar year 2025. Financial and legal advisors, including Goldman Sachs, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and Ernst & Young, are facilitating the transaction.

Mukesh D Ambani, chairperson and managing director of Reliance Industries, expressed excitement about the landmark agreement, emphasizing the collaborative effort to deliver unparalleled content to audiences nationwide. Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, highlighted the vast opportunities in India’s populous market, aiming to create long-term value through the JV. Uday Shankar, co-founder of Bodhi Tree Systems, underscored the commitment to delivering exceptional value to audiences and partners, shaping the future of entertainment in India and supporting the vision of Digital India.

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