Burbank | Mumbai  : Reliance Industries Limited, Viacom18 Media Private Limited, and The Walt Disney Company have announced the signing of binding definitive agreements to establish a joint venture merging the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India. Under the transaction, Viacom18’s media assets will be integrated into Star India Private Limited through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

  • The companies will merge their respective digital streaming and television assets in India to establish a world-class leader in entertainment and sports.
  • Reliance plans to invest ₹11,500 crore in the Joint Venture, while Disney will provide Content License to the Joint Venture.
  • The transaction values the Joint Venture at ₹70,352 crore (~US$ 8.5 billion) on a post-money basis, excluding synergies. Following the completion of the above steps, the Joint Venture will be controlled by RIL and will be owned 16.34% by RIL, 46.82% by Viacom18, and 36.84% by Disney.

Disney may also contribute certain additional media assets to the Joint Venture, pending regulatory and third-party approvals. Mrs. Nita M. Ambani will serve as the Chairperson of the JV, with Mr. Uday Shankar as Vice Chairperson, providing strategic guidance. The JV will emerge as a prominent TV and digital streaming platform for entertainment and sports content in India, consolidating iconic media assets from both companies, such as Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD, Star Sports, and Sports18. This will grant access to highly anticipated events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar, reaching over 750 million viewers in India and the Indian diaspora worldwide.

The JV aims to spearhead the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry in India, offering consumers high-quality, comprehensive content anytime, anywhere. Leveraging the media expertise, advanced technology, and diverse content libraries of Viacom18 and Star India, the JV will provide appealing domestic and global entertainment content and sports livestreaming services. By integrating Disney’s acclaimed films and shows with Viacom18’s renowned productions and sports offerings, the JV will deliver an innovative and convenient digital entertainment experience at affordable prices.

Additionally, the JV will hold exclusive rights to distribute Disney films and productions in India, with a license to over 30,000 Disney content assets, ensuring a wide range of entertainment options for Indian consumers.

Mr. Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries, expressed, “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 the Reliance group.”

Mr. Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, stated, “India is the world’s most populous market, and we are excited for the opportunities that this joint venture will provide to create long-term value for the company. 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.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory, shareholder, and other customary approvals and is anticipated to be finalized in the last quarter of Calendar Year 2024 or the first quarter of Calendar Year 2025.


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