Reliance And Paramount Seal Viacom18 Stake Deal, Shares Rise

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries saw its shares rise in value on Thursday morning after the company announced a deal to buy Paramount Global’s stake in Viacom18 Media for ₹4,286 crore, according to Reliance’s exchange filing.

What Happened: This acquisition boosts Reliance’s share in Viacom18 to 70.49% on a fully diluted basis, up from its current 57.48% ownership through Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares.

This move, which awaits regulatory approval, is part of broader plans that do not involve related parties. It follows the February 28 announcement of a merger between Reliance Industries and Disney, aiming to create a ₹70,000 crore giant in India’s entertainment sector. Despite the sale, Paramount Global will keep supplying content to Viacom18.

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An earlier report indicates that Paramount is offloading assets, including its Simon & Schuster publishing arm, as part of a broader strategy to reduce its debt load.

The merger, expected to finalize between the last quarter of 2024 and the first quarter of 2025, will see Reliance owning 16.34% and Viacom18 holding a 46.82% stake in the new entertainment powerhouse.

Price Action: Reliance Industries shares were trading 0.54% higher at ₹2,879.90 on Thursday morning shortly after markets opened for trading. Network 18 share price was also up 1.62% to trade at ₹84.50.

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