The US-based Walt Disney is in talks to sell a controlling stake in its India business, which also includes its OTT platform Disney+ Hotstar, to Reliance
While Disney Star values its business at $10 Bn, Reliance values it at $7 Bn-$8 Bn. The deal is likely to be announced next month
The deal, if it goes through, would comes as a shot in the arm for Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance, which is trying to grab a big share in the Indian OTT market via JioCinema
Reliance Industries Ltd is reportedly set to acquire a stake in Walt Disney Co.’s India business in a cash and stock deal.
As per a Bloomberg report, the US-based Walt Disney might sell a controlling stake in the Disney Star business, which it values at around $10 Bn
People aware of the development told the publication that Reliance values the company’s assets at around $7 Bn-$8 Bn.
The acquisition is expected to be announced next month with some of Reliance’s media units merged into Disney Star.
Walt Disney has been exploring a potential sale or a joint venture of its streaming and television business in India for a few months now. Disney Star’s business also includes its streaming platform Disney+ Hotstar.
As per the proposal, Disney would continue to hold a minority stake in its Indian business. However, a final decision on the deal or the valuation hasn’t been made yet, the report said.
The report also said that Disney could decide to hold onto the assets for a bit longer.
The deal, if it goes through, would come as a shot in the arm for Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance, which has been making aggressive moves to grab a big share in the Indian OTT market via its JioCinema platform. In 2022, Disney+ Hotstar lost the rights to stream the Indian Premier League (IPL), arguably one of the most popular Indian sports events, to JioCinema.
Besides, the media rights for FIFA World Cup 2022 and for other domestic matches of the Indian cricket and football teams were also snatched by JioCinema from Disney+ Hotstar.
Reliance then also bagged a multi-year pact to broadcast Warner Bros Discovery’s HBO shows in India, which was previously with Disney+ Hotstar.
Though Disney+ Hotstar’s subscriber numbers were impacted following these events, the platform managed to record 3.5 Cr concurrent viewers during the India-Pakistan World Cup match earlier this month, beating JioCinema’s record.
Besides, the digital streaming platform also managed to draw in a record 4.3 Cr viewers during Sunday’s men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and New Zealand. It must be noted that following in the footsteps of JioCinema, the OTT platform owned by Disney Star also decided to stream the Asia Cup and World Cup 2023 cricket matches for free on mobile.