Reliance, Walt Disney merge their India operations to create Rs 70,000 cr media behemoth

Media undertaking of Viacom18 will be merged into Star India


Walt Disney Co, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited, and Reliance Industries, on Wednesday, announced the signing of binding pacts to merge their media operations in India to create a Rs 70,000 crore behemoth.

As part of the joint venture (JV), the media undertaking of Viacom18 will be merged into Star India Private Limited through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

Reliance and its affiliates will hold 63.16 per cent stake in the combined entity while Disney will hold the remaining 36.84 per cent, the companies said in a statement. Reliance has also agreed to invest around Rs 11,500 crore in the joint venture to grow the OTT business.

The JV will be one of the leading TV and digital streaming platforms for entertainment and sports content in India, bringing together iconic media assets across entertainment, the company said in a statement. The joined entity will have over 750 million viewers.

The combination of the media expertise, cutting-edge technology and diverse content libraries of Viacom18 and Star India will allow the JV to offer more appealing domestic and global entertainment content and sports livestreaming services, while delivering an innovative and convenient digital entertainment experience at affordable prices, the company 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,” Reliance chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani said.

Reliance said JV will offer a compelling, accessible and novel digital-focused entertainment experience to people in India and the Indian diaspora globally.

Nita Ambani will be the chairperson of the joint venture.


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