Reliance, Disney sign binding pact to combine media businesses in India

Nita Mukesh Ambani will be the chairperson of the joint venture and Uday Shankar, the former president of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, will be vice-chairperson providing strategic guidance to the JV.

February 28, 2024 08:21 pm | Updated February 29, 2024 11:40 am IST - MUMBAI

Disney and Reliance logos are seen in this file illustration.

Disney and Reliance logos are seen in this file illustration. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd. (which is majority-owned by RIL’s entity TV18 Broadcast), and The Walt Disney Company (Disney) have signed binding definitive agreements to form a joint venture (JV) which will combine the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India in India.

Towards this Viacom18 will be merged into Star India Private Ltd. through a court-approved scheme of arrangement. Besides this RIL will invest at closing ₹11,500 crore into the JV for its growth strategy.

“The transaction values the JV at ₹70,352 crore on a post-money basis, excluding synergies. After completion of the above steps, the JV will be controlled by RIL and owned 16.34% by RIL, 46.82% by Viacom18 and 36.84% by Disney,” the entities said in a joint statement.

Subject to regulatory and third-party approvals, Disney may also contribute certain additional media assets to the JV.

Nita Mukesh Ambani will be the chairperson of the JV and Uday Shankar, the former President of Walt Disney Asia Pacific, will be Vice Chairperson providing strategic guidance to the JV.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the last quarter of calendar year 2024 or first quarter of calendar year 2025.

The JV will be one of the leading TV and digital streaming platforms for entertainment and sports content in India, bringing together media assets across entertainment (Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD) and sports (Star Sports and Sports18) including access to highly anticipated events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar, the companies said.

The JV will have over 750 million viewers across India and will also cater to the Indian diaspora across the world, they said.

Mukesh D Ambani, CMD RIL said, “This is a landmark agreement that heralds a new era in the Indian entertainment industry.”

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.”

Uday Shankar, Co-founder, 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.” 

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.