Viacom18 Stake to be Acquired by Reliance from Paramount Global for More than $500M

Paramount Global has reached a binding agreement to sell its stake in Reliance-controlled Indian media house Viacom18 to Reliance for $517 million, both companies said Wednesday. The deal will increase Reliance’s stake in Viacom18, which operates dozens of TV channels as well as streaming service JioCinema, to 70.49%, Reliance said in its disclosure. Law firm JSA Associates said late last month that it was advising the two firms for the deal. The move follows Disney announcing plans to merge its India business with Viacom18 late last month. Viacom18 also counts Bodhi Tree, an investment firm run by James Murdoch and Uday Shankar, among its backers.

Paramount Global and Reliance have revealed that they have come to a binding agreement worth $517 million. This will involve Paramount Global selling its stake in Indian media powerhouse Viacom18, which is primarily controlled by Reliance. As indicated by Reliance, this deal will give them a majority stake of 70.49% in Viacom18. It has also been stated by law firm JSA Associates that they are currently advising both companies on the details of this transaction.

This news comes after Disney’s recent announcement of their intention to merge their India business with Viacom18. The joint venture between Disney and Viacom18 is estimated to be valued at a massive $8.5 billion. Viacom18 has also received investment from Bodhi Tree, a firm established by James Murdoch and Uday Shankar.

This merger will result in the joint venture having a significant presence in the Indian media landscape, with analysts projecting them to capture about 85% of the country’s on-demand streaming service audience and about half of the TV viewership. This will undoubtedly pose a significant challenge to other streaming giants such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Sony, and Zee.

The merger is expected to be completed by March of 2025 and will grant the joint venture exclusive digital and broadcast rights to some of the most high-profile sporting events in the world. These events include the Indian Premier League, various ICC tournaments, domestic Indian cricket, FIFA World Cup, Premier League, and Wimbledon.

This is a developing story. More updates will follow.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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