Reliance-Disney merger likely to close by first half of 2025

The merger of Star India with Reliance Industries is expected to be closed by the first half of 2025, The Walt Disney Company said in a regulatory filing.

By  Storyboard18May 9, 2024 12:16 PM
Reliance-Disney merger likely to close by first half of 2025
If closing has not occurred by February 28, 2026, Star India or RIL may terminate the transaction.

The merger of Star India with Reliance Industries is expected to be closed by the first half of 2025, The Walt Disney Company said in a regulatory filing.

The company said, “The Star India transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2025, subject to customary closing traditions, including regulatory approvals and government consents. If closing has not occurred by February 28, 2026, Star India or RIL may terminate the transaction.”

On February 28, 2024, RIL’s Viacom18 inked a binding agreement with The Walt Disney Company to merge their media operations in India and form a joint venture that will see the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India being combined.

As a part of its growth strategy, Reliance Industries will invest Rs 11,500 crore. The transaction values the joint venture at Rs 70,352 crore on a post money basis.

After the above mentioned steps have been completed, 16.34 percent of the joint venture will be owned by Reliance and 46.82 percent by Viacom18 and 36.84 percent by Disney.

The joint venture, with a license to more than 30,000 Disney content assets, will be granted the exclusive right to distribute Disney films and production in India.

Nita M. Ambani will be the chairperson of the JV, with Uday Shankar as vice chairperson providing strategic guidance to the JV.

The JV will be one of the leading TV and digital streaming platforms for entertainment and sports content in India, bringing together iconic media assets across entertainment (e.g. Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD) and sports (e.g. Star Sports and Sports18) including access to highly anticipated events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar. The JV will have over 750 million viewers across India and will also cater to the Indian diaspora across the world.

The JV will seek to lead the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry in India and offer consumers high-quality and comprehensive content offerings anytime and anywhere. The combination of the media expertise, cutting-edge technology and diverse content libraries of Viacom18 and Star India will allow the JV to offer more appealing domestic and global entertainment content and sports live streaming services, while delivering an innovative and convenient digital entertainment experience at affordable prices. With the addition of Disney’s acclaimed films and shows to Viacom18’s renowned productions and sports offerings, the JV will offer a compelling, accessible and novel digital-focused entertainment experience to people in India and the Indian diaspora globally.


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First Published on May 9, 2024 12:16 PM

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