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Reliance to buy Paramount’s entire 13.01% stake in Viacom18 for $517 million

After the completion of the transaction Paramount will continue to license its content to Viacom18.

Reliance to buy Paramount's entire 13.01% stake in Viacom18 for $517 million

Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries has agreed to buy entire stake of Paramount Global, an American multinational mass media giant, in local entertainment network Viacom18 Media. The Indian oil-to-telecom giant will acquire 13.01% stake of Paramount Global, held via its two subsidiaries, in Viacom 18 for an aggregate consideration of $517 million (Rs 4,286 crore).

Viacom18 is a material subsidiary of Reliance-owned TV18 Broadcast and post the completion of this transaction, share of TV18 will increase in the subsidiary to 70.49% from current 57.48%. After the completion of the transaction Paramount will continue to license its content to Viacom18, said Reliance and Paramount Global in their respective stock market filing. Additionally, the transaction is subject to regulatory approval as well as Reliance’s previously announced merger with Viacom18 and Walt Disney.

To recap, in late February this year, Reliance Industries, Viacom18, and The Walt Disney Company announced a joint venture in India in a transaction that values $8.5 billion, excluding synergies. The joint entity will be controlled by RIL with an ownership distribution of 16.34% by RIL, 46.82% by Viacom18, and 36.84% by Disney. Nita M. Ambani is slated to head the JV as the Chairperson, with Uday Shankar as Vice Chairperson. This strategic joint venture, subject to regulatory, shareholder, and customary approvals, is anticipated to complete in the last quarter of calendar year 2024 or the first quarter of calendar year 2025.

The JV is said to revolutionize the entertainment and sports broadcasting sphere in India, amalgamating iconic media assets like Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD, Star Sports and Sports18; and offering access to a plethora of events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar. The venture further aims to offer a compelling suite of entertainment options to the Indian consumer by blending Disney’s acclaimed films and shows with Viacom18’s renowned productions and sports offerings. Additionally, exclusive rights to distribute Disney films and productions in India will also be granted to the JV, with a license to more than 30,000 Disney content assets.

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