afaqs! news bureau

Reliance Industries to acquire 13% of Paramount's stake in Viacom18 for Rs 4,286 crore

This deal will increase Reliance's equity ownership in Viacom18 to 70.49%.

Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries of India has entered an agreement to purchase Paramount Global's entire 13.01% stake in the local entertainment network Viacom18 Media for approximately $517 million (Rs 4,286 crore), as disclosed in a regulatory filing by RIL.

Viacom18, which boasts ownership by Reliance as the majority shareholder, encompasses a spectrum of 40 television channels, including popular networks such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV. Upon finalising the deal, Reliance's equity ownership in Viacom18 will rise to 70.49% on a fully diluted basis. Currently, Reliance possesses Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares in Viacom18, constituting a 57.48% equity stake.

The exchange filing mentions, "A binding agreement has been entered between Reliance and two subsidiaries of Paramount Global to acquire 13.01% equity stake (on a fully diluted basis) of Viacom 18 Media held by Paramount Global through its two subsidiaries for an aggregate consideration of Rs. 4,286 crore."

Paramount Global has affirmed its commitment to continue licensing its content to Viacom18 even post the completion of the deal, with existing content already streaming through Reliance's JioCinema platform.

The completion of this deal is contingent upon the finalisation of Reliance's previously declared merger with Walt Disney, pertaining to India TV and streaming media assets.

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