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Reliance Industries Expands Influence in Media with Viacom18 Stake Acquisition

Reliance Industries Expands Influence in Media with Viacom18 Stake Acquisition

The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. has made a calculated strategic move by legally linking itself to two Paramount Global entities in order to purchase a 13.01% share in Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. The deal, valued at ₹4,286 crore, marks a significant step in Reliance's media expansion strategy.

Viacom18, a key player in the Indian media landscape, is a material subsidiary of TV18 Broadcast Ltd. After the deal closes, Reliance's fully diluted equity interest in Viacom18 will increase from its present 57.48% through Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares to 70.49%.

It's important to note that this transaction is not considered a related-party transaction and is subject to regulatory approvals. Additionally, its completion is contingent on the Reliance Industries-Disney merger, which was announced on February 28 this year.

Even after the deal is finalized, Paramount Global will continue to license its content to Viacom18, ensuring continuity in content offerings.

This move comes on the heels of Reliance Industries' recent agreement with The Walt Disney Company to merge their India TV and streaming media assets, creating a formidable entertainment entity valued at ₹70,000 crore. Under this merger, Reliance Industries will hold a 16.34% stake in the combined entity, while Viacom18 will retain a 46.82% stake.

Despite these developments, Reliance Industries' shares experienced a 2.6% decline on Wednesday, mirroring the broader market trend, and closed at ₹2,873.20. However, the stock has demonstrated resilience, showing a 26% gain over the last 12 months.

The acquisition of a significant stake in Viacom18 underscores Reliance Industries' commitment to strengthening its presence in the media and entertainment sector, signaling exciting developments ahead for the industry landscape.

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