Reliance Industries and Disney Join Forces to Create Media Powerhouse in India

Preeti Bali / 1:50 pm / March 1, 2024

Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), led by Mukesh Ambani, and global entertainment giant The Walt Disney Company have announced a landmark partnership to establish a joint venture. This strategic collaboration signifies a significant development in the Indian media landscape.

Merger and Investment:

As per the agreement, Viacom18, RIL’s media arm, will merge with Star India Private Limited, Disney’s Indian subsidiary, through a court-approved scheme of arrangement. This transaction, valued at approximately $8.5 billion, positions the joint venture as a major player in the Indian media market. Additionally, Disney intends to contribute further media assets to the joint venture, subject to necessary approvals. RIL will also invest $1.4 billion to support the venture’s growth strategy.

Leadership and Vision:

Nita Ambani will take on the role of Chairperson of the joint venture, while former Disney executive Uday Shankar will serve as Vice Chairperson. This leadership team brings together extensive experience and expertise in the media industry.

Mutual Benefits and Future Outlook:

Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating: “We have always admired Disney as the leading media group globally. This venture will allow us to combine our resources, creativity, and market understanding to deliver exceptional content offerings at affordable prices to audiences across India.”

Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, highlighted the strategic benefits of the collaboration: “Reliance’s deep understanding of the Indian market and consumer, coupled with our own strengths, will enable us to create a leading media company in India. This venture will allow us to better serve consumers through a diverse portfolio of digital services, entertainment, and sports content.”

The completion of this transaction is anticipated between October 2024 and March 2025. This joint venture has the potential to significantly shape the future of the Indian media industry by offering a wider range of content, fostering innovation, and catering to the evolving preferences of Indian audiences.

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