Last month, Disney announced that it had signed a binding definitive agreement to form a joint venture with Reliance Industries Limited and Viacom 18 Media Private Limited that will combine the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India.

As part of the transaction, the media undertaking of Viacom18 will be merged into Star India Private Limited through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

Disney acquired Star India as part of the purchase of 20th Century Fox and the division includes over eighty linear channels and Disney+ Hotstar, which reaches more than 700 million viewers in nine different languages every month.

The new joint venture between Reliance, Viacom18 and Disney will create 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, which are expected to merge together.

Today, Paramount Global has announced through a SEC filming, that it has entered into a transfer agreement with Reliance Industries Limited to sell Paramount’s entire 13.01% equity interest in Viacom18 Media Private Limited for an aggregate purchase price of 42,86,00,00,000 Indian rupees, which is equivalent to approximately $517 million based on the current foreign exchange rate.

The closing of the Transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain customary conditions, including receipt of applicable regulatory approvals, as well as the completion of a previously announced joint venture involving Reliance, Viacom18 and Star Disney.

As part of this deal, even after the closing, Paramount will continue to license its content to Viacom18. Disney also has made an agreement to license more than 30,000 Disney content assets to the new joint venture, which will mean both Paramount’s and Disney’s content will be available on this streaming platform/linear channels.

With Paramount selling its minority stake in Viacom18, it will be able to use that money to help pay down some of its other debts as the company is currently being shopped around to different buyers. Paramount has also been selling assets like publisher Simon & Schuster, mixed martial arts promoter Bellator, real estate and other businesses. Plus it has been laying off staff to cut costs.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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