Reliance Industries And Disney Mega Merger: Everything You Need To Know About The Investment, Stake Distribution & Joint Venture

Reliance Industries And Disney Mega Merger: Everything You Need To Know About The Investment, Stake Distribution & Joint Venture

According to the agreement, Reliance Industries' subsidiary, Viacom18, and Disney's India unit, Star India Private Limited (SIPL), will be merged through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

Oliviya KunjumonUpdated: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 12:51 PM IST
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Reliance Industries And Walt Disney |

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) officially announced its merger plan with The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday, February 28. Both the companies have signed a binding agreement to merge their media operations in India.

According to the agreement, Reliance Industries' subsidiary, Viacom18, and Disney's India unit, Star India Private Limited (SIPL), will be merged through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director of Reliance Industries, said, “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 Reliance group.”

Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company said, “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.”

Investmentsd in the Joint venture

RIL has agreed to invest Rs 11,500 crore equivalent to USD 1.4 Billion upon the completion of the joint venture as part of its growth strategy. The transaction places a valuation of Rs 70,352 crore which is around USD 8.5 billion on the Joint Venture on a post-money basis, excluding synergies.

Following the completion of the outlined steps, RIL will assume control of the Joint Venture, holding 16.34 per cent, while Viacom18 and Disney will own 46.82 per cent and 36.84 per cent, respectively, the company said in the regulatory filing.

Additionally, Disney may also contribute specific media assets to the joint venture, contingent upon regulatory and third-party approvals.

Who will head the chair?

In the joint venture, Nita M. Ambani, the wife of Mukesh Ambani, will serve as the Chairperson, while Uday Shankar will hold the position of Vice Chairperson, offering strategic guidance to the venture.

Uday Shankar, Co-founder of Bodhi Tree Systems said, “We are privileged to be enhancing our relationship with Reliance to now also include Disney, a global leader in media & entertainment. All of us are committed to delivering exceptional value to our audiences, advertisers, and partners. This joint venture is poised to shape the future of entertainment in India and accelerate the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of making Digital India a global exemplar.”

About the Joint Venture

The joint venture is poised to emerge as a premier TV and digital streaming platform, showcasing a diverse array of entertainment and sports content in India. By amalgamating media assets across entertainment giants like Colors, StarPlus, and StarGOLD, alongside prominent sports channels such as Star Sports and Sports18, the JV ensures access to highly anticipated events through JioCinema and Hotstar across television and digital platforms.

With a viewer base exceeding 750 million within India, the collaborative synergy between Viacom18 and Star India, leveraging their media expertise, cutting-edge technology, and diverse content libraries, positions the JV to provide captivating domestic and global entertainment content, along with sports livestreaming services.

Moreover, the joint venture will also grant exclusive rights to distribute Disney films and productions in India, featuring a license for over 30,000 Disney content assets, thus providing a full and engaging entertainment portfolio for Indian consumers.

Financial Highlights of Reliance Industries and Walt Disney Company

Reliance Industries reported a consolidated revenue of Rs 9,74,864 crore equivalent to USD118.6 billion, a cash profit of Rs 1,25,951 crore amounting USD15.3 billion, and a net profit of Rs 73,670 crore equivalent to USD 9.0 billion for the fiscal year March 31, 2023.

In contrast, The Walt Disney Company, alongside its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading global entertainment and media enterprise with three core business segments: Entertainment, Sports, and Experiences. As a Dow 30 company, Disney achieved annual revenues of USD 88.89 billion in the Fiscal Year 2023.

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