Reliance and Walt Disney Ink Agreement To Merge Media Operations In India

By Consultants Review Team Monday, 26 February 2024

Reliance Industries, helmed by Mukesh Ambani, and Walt Disney Co. are said to have inked an agreement to combine their media businesses in India, Viacom18 and Star. Disney is predicted to own the remaining shares in the combined company, with Reliance owning at least 61% of it.

A Bloomberg article states that this week will likely see the deal's official announcement.

According to the article, the distribution of the partners' stakes might alter based on how Disney's other local properties are valued at the time the purchase closes. Reliance may also think about purchasing Disney's minority interest in Tata Play, a broadcast service provider.

Following a Wall Street Journal story last month, which valued the deal at $3.9 billion, Disney agreed to sell 60% of its Indian company to Viacom18. This news of the agreement's signature follows.

With a price ranging from $7 billion to $8 billion, Reliance was assessing Disney's India assets last year, including the Disney+ Hotstar streaming service and Star India.

Along with securing a multi-year deal in April to broadcast Warner Bro Discovery Inc.'s HBO series, Reliance outbid Disney in 2022 to get the streaming rights to the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Sony Group and Zee Entertainment Enterprises merger collapsed recently, citing disagreements over the leadership of the combined company. This is the same period as the Reliance-Disney transaction.

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