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BUSINESS UPDATE: Reliance and Disney to merge businesses in India

Mar 4, 2024 | News | 0 comments


Reliance-Disney $8.5 billion Tie Up

By tying up with Reliance, Disney has found a new home for its animated characters in India. Disney and Reliance will merge media businesses in an $8.5 billionjoint venture nationwide.

On Wednesday, the U.S. entertainment giant Walt Disney officially announced that it and the Indian conglomerate Reliance will combine their Indian businesses. The two successful companies will merge their Viacom18 and Star India units to form the Star India joint venture, which is estimated to be worth $8.5 billion, per the reports.

After the deal closes successfully, Asia’s richest man and Reliance owner, Mukesh Ambani, will take control of the joint venture and is expected to invest $1.4 billion in its expansion plan. The joint venture will be directed by Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita Ambani, with Uday Shankar, a board member of Viacom18, serving as vice chair. Reliance will have 16.34% of the ownership stake, followed by Disney at 36.84% and Ambani’s at Viacom1846.82%.

The transaction remains subject to shareholder, regulatory, and customary clearance. The board of directors envisions the deal closing either in the last quarter of this year or in the first quarter of 2025.

Disney officials stated:

The CEO of Walt Disney, Bob Iger, stated that India is the world’s most populous market, and we are excited for the opportunities this joint venture will provide to create long-term value for the company.” The company further states that, per the terms of the present merger agreement, it will have three directors, and RIL will have five seats on the joint venture’s board of directors. Two independent directors will be added to the board as well.

Entertainment Industry in India

The entertainment industry has always been competing to take on the Indian market, including the giant Disney, which is trying to stay in the country despite losing subscribers during the past year, a recent makeover, and a $5.5 billion cost-cut. Further company stated, the merged entity will be seen as a successor by having over 750 million viewers across India and will also cater to the Indian diaspora globally.

Nita Ambani came into the business spotlight

Besides that, the Reliance and Disney merger brought Nita Ambani back into the business spotlight, leading to media mainstreaming as she will chair the joint venture. Only a few months ago, Nita Ambani resigned from the board of Reliance Industries, the parent company of the retail-to-telecoms business, to devote her energies and time to guide the venture.

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Written by Riteshu Sen Jaiswar

Chief Of Media at BIZBoost || Public Speaker || Web 3 Junkie || Passionate Writer || Gyaan Seeker

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