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RIL signs deal with Disney to merge Viacom18 and Star India

Reliance Industries (RIL) has unveiled a significant merger deal with Viacom18 Media and The Walt Disney Company, aimed at forming a joint venture (JV) that will integrate the operations of Viacom18 and Star India. This strategic move is poised to reshape the landscape of the Indian entertainment and sports industry.

I. Merger Agreement and Investment

  • RIL, Viacom18 Media, and Disney sign binding definitive agreements for the merger.
  • Viacom18’s media business to be merged into Star India through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.
  • RIL commits to investing Rs 11,500 crore (approximately US$ 1.4 billion) into the JV to support its growth strategy.

II. Valuation and Ownership Structure

  • Transaction values the JV at Rs 70,352 crore (approximately US$ 8.5 billion) on a post-money basis, excluding synergies.
  • Ownership structure: RIL to control 16.34%, Viacom18 46.82%, and Disney 36.84%.
  • Potential contribution of additional media assets by Disney, subject to regulatory approvals.

III. Leadership and Governance

  • Nita M. Ambani appointed as Chairperson of the JV, bringing her visionary leadership to the forefront.
  • Uday Shankar named Vice Chairperson, providing strategic guidance to the JV based on his extensive industry experience.

IV. Scope and Reach of the Joint Venture

  • The JV poised to become a leading TV and digital streaming platform for entertainment and sports content in India.
  • Iconic media assets from both Viacom18 and Star India, including Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD, and Star Sports, will be consolidated.
  • Access to highly anticipated events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar.
  • Potential viewership of over 750 million across India and catering to the Indian diaspora globally.

V. Enhancing Entertainment and Sports Offerings

  • Combination of Viacom18 and Star India’s expertise to offer diverse and appealing entertainment content and sports livestreaming services.
  • Integration of Disney’s acclaimed films and shows with Viacom18’s productions and sports offerings to create a novel digital-focused entertainment experience.
  • Commitment to delivering innovative and convenient digital entertainment at affordable prices.


RIL signs deal with Disney to merge Viacom18 and Star India_4.1



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