Reliance & Disney set to merge in India, Nita Ambani to possibly lead merged entity: Reports

02:31 PM Feb 28, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

A potential merger between Reliance Industries’ Viacom18 and Walt Disney’s Star India to create a significant media entity is reportedly on the horizon, with Nita Ambani possibly leading the merged venture.


Sources, as cited by Reuters, suggest that Nita Ambani could take the helm of the merged board. This development follows her recent departure from the Reliance Industries board to focus more on charitable activities.

The merger, which has been in discussion for several months, is expected to be officially disclosed on February 28, Wednesday, according to reports from the Economic Times.

This strategic move signifies the combined efforts of Reliance and Disney to strengthen their positions in India’s media and entertainment market, valued at approximately $28 billion, the report added.

Both companies have significant stakes in the sector, including their respective streaming services and a collective total of 120 television channels. The merger is anticipated to bolster Reliance’s dominance in the Indian media landscape, with reports suggesting it could secure a controlling stake ranging from 51% to 54% in the merged entity, as per earlier Reuters reports.


According to the Economic Times, there’s speculation that Uday Shankar, the promoter of Bodhi Tree, may be appointed as the vice chairperson, further solidifying the leadership structure of the merged entity. Meanwhile, Disney is expected to retain approximately 40% ownership.

This merger comes at a crucial juncture for Disney, which has faced challenges and user attrition in India’s competitive digital platform space, especially in its cricket streaming segment. The company faces tough competition from Ambani’s platform in this arena.


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