According to Bloomberg, Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd. is close to finalizing a multibillion-dollar agreement with Walt Disney Co. to acquire its India assets.
Following the transaction, the RIL is projected to have a controlling stake in the Disney Star company, which is valued at around $10 billion. The US entertainment conglomerate will wind up with a minority share in the company. According to persons familiar with the case, Reliance believes the assets are worth between $7 billion and $8 billion.
The firms are likely to announce the massive acquisition next month. According to BB, there is also the prospect of a merger if a few of Reliance's media divisions merge with Disney Star as part of the purchase.
There is yet to be agreement on the deal or the valuation of the stake transfer. According to the proposal, Disney will likely retain a minority ownership in the Indian company after the cash and stock swap transaction is completed. According to the news story, Disney may decide to keep assets for a little longer.
A Disney representative in India did not respond to an inquiry for comment, and a Reliance spokeswoman declined to comment.
Ambani's burgeoning entertainment empire
Ambani secured a $2.7 billion deal to stream the Indian Premier League in 2022. Ambani's acquisition of interests in Disney India highlights his expanding influence in India's entertainment industry. Reliance's Jio Cinema platform chose to broadcast the extremely popular domestic cricket tournament for free this year after securing the IPL deal.
Reliance also signed a multi-year deal earlier this year to broadcast Warner Bros. Discovery Inc.'s HBO series in India, content that was previously with Disney.
Despite losses in the Indian entertainment business, Disney Star continues to invest in the region. According to Bloomberg News, the company has been considering other options for the business, such as an outright sale or the formation of a joint venture.
Disney's presence in India has grown significantly. The recent men's Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and New Zealand drew a record 43 million viewers, well exceeding the 35 million who watched the highly anticipated India-Pakistan grudge match earlier this month.