Woah! Ambani's Reliance, Disney Seal $8.5 Billion Indian Entertainment Deal

Written by  Prerit Chauhan   |  February 29th 2024 11:57 AM  |  Updated: February 29th 2024 11:57 AM

Woah! Ambani's Reliance, Disney Seal $8.5 Billion Indian Entertainment Deal

In a landmark development, the merger discussions spearheaded by Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, Viacom18, and the Walt Disney Corporation have culminated in a definitive agreement. Signed on Wednesday, the agreement delineates the consolidation of the television and digital streaming divisions of Viacom18 and Star India. This strategic move is poised to position the joint venture as a formidable force within the Indian entertainment industry, with an estimated value of approximately ₹70,352 crores ($8.5 billion).

The Future of Indian TV & Streaming with Reliance-Disney Pact

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has committed to injecting ₹11,500 crores ($1.4 billion) into this transformative merger, a disclosure made public on Wednesday. This financial infusion underscores Reliance's strategic intent to fortify its presence within the sector through strategic mergers and acquisitions. The envisaged timeline for the completion of this merger falls within either the final quarter of 2024 or the initial quarter of 2025. Following the merger's consummation, Reliance will assume control of the new venture, with RIL owning 16.34%, Viacom18 holding 46.82%, and Disney retaining 36.84% ownership stakes.

The resurgence of Nita Ambani, wife of Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani, assumes significant prominence in this narrative. The merger between Reliance and Disney heralds Nita Ambani's reinstatement as the Chairperson of the newly formed entity. Leveraging her extensive expertise and networks in art, sports, and Bollywood, Nita Ambani's involvement portends a promising trajectory for the venture. Notably, her return to the forefront marks a remarkable juncture, following her departure from the Reliance board last year. Currently, she presides over the Reliance Foundation and owns the Mumbai Indians team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), in addition to serving as a member of the International Olympic Committee and a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Mukesh Ambani extolled the historic significance of the agreement between Reliance and Disney, envisioning its ability to cater to over 750 million viewers in India and the global Indian diaspora. He expressed fervent anticipation for ushering in a new era in the Indian entertainment landscape, alongside Disney, a globally esteemed media conglomerate.

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