Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) on Tuesday said it will buy a 5% stake in NYSE listed Eros International Plc (Eros) through a subsidiary. RIL will pay $15 per Eros International share, which represents an 18% premium to Friday’s closing price. The two parties will invest up to Rs1,000 crore each to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages, RIL said.
In a statement, RIL chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani said the tie-up will bring further synergies to the firm’s plans, making for a win-win partnership. Alongside, Eros chief executive officer Jyoti Deshpande will be stepping down to head RIL’s media and entertainment business. Deshpande will join RIL this April but will continue to remain as a non-executive director on the board of Eros.
RIL and Eros International Media Ltd will partner to jointly produce and consolidate content from across India.
Deshpande would be responsible for RIL’s initiatives in media and entertainment to organically build and grow businesses around the content ecosystem such as broadcasting, films, sports, music, digital, gaming, animation etc., as well as integrate RIL’s existing media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms.
So far, RIL has Hotstar and Roy Kapur Films on board. Last year, RIL also bought 24.9% stake in Alt Balaji, a wholly owned subsidiary of Balaji Telefilms, for Rs413 crore. Alt Balaji is a subscription-based video on demand platform.
Google’s YouTube is the country’s largest watched video on demand platform, followed by Star’s Hotstar and Voot TV by Viacom18, a joint venture between Viacom Inc and RIL-owned Network18.
On Tuesday, RIL shares closed at ₹ 919.40, down 0.70% on the BSE, while the Sensex ended at 33,703 points, down 0.21%.