29 February 2024

Disney India to merge with Reliance Industries

Disney India will form an $8.5 billion joint venture with India's largest conglomerate Reliance Industries, creating a media giant in the world's most populous country.

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The conglomerate led by billionaire Mukesh Ambani will invest $1.4 billion, securing a 63% stake in the new entity, while Disney will retain a 37% stake. The merger will bring together rival streaming platforms, India's leading pay-TV service and more than 100 linear TV channels. The new company will control up to 40% market share.

Disney took over Indian streaming platform Hotstar in 2019 as part of a $71 billion deal to take over the assets of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. However, Hotstar has seen a decline in subscribers since JioCinema (a joint venture between Reliance Industries and Viacom18) acquired the rights to stream the Indian Premier League cricket.

The merger follows the cancellation of a deal earlier this year between Sony and India's Zee Entertainment that aimed to create a $10 billion media colossus to compete with Reliance.