Reliance, Disney announce mega entertainment JV worth $8.5 bn

Reliance Industries Limited, Viacom 18 Media Private Limited, and The Walt Disney Company have officially announced a partnership deal. This collaboration will see the merging of Viacom18’s media business with Star India, forming a new joint venture (“JV”).

As part of the agreement, Viacom18’s media operations will be integrated into Star India Private Limited (“SIPL”) through a court-approved arrangement. Reliance has also committed to injecting ₹11,500 crore (US$ 1.4 billion) into the JV to fuel its growth.

Advertisement

The deal values the JV at ₹70,352 crore (US$ 8.5 billion) after factoring in the investment, excluding potential synergies. After the completion of the merger, Reliance will have controlling interest, owning 16.34%, while Viacom18 and Disney will own 46.82% and 36.84%, respectively.

Furthermore, Disney may contribute additional media assets to the JV, pending regulatory and third-party approvals. Mrs. Nita M. Ambani will serve as the Chairperson of the JV, with Mr. Uday Shankar appointed as Vice Chairperson to offer strategic direction.

The completion of this transaction is contingent upon various approvals, including regulatory and shareholder nods, and is anticipated to finalize by either the last quarter of 2024 or the first quarter of 2025.

The newly formed JV will bring together renowned media brands such as Colors, StarPlus, and StarGOLD for entertainment, as well as Star Sports and Sports18 for sports enthusiasts. The JV will offer access to highly awaited events through JioCinema and Hotstar, targeting an audience of over 750 million viewers in India and reaching out to the Indian diaspora worldwide.