Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Viacom 18 Media Private Ltd (Viacom18) and The Walt Disney Company have finally signed the binding definitive agreements to form a joint venture (JV) that will combine the businesses of Viacom18 and Star India and will be valued at ₹70,352 crore.

A statement says the JV will bring together assets like Colors, StarPlus, StarGOLD and Star Sports and Sports18, and access to events across television and digital platforms through JioCinema and Hotstar.

As part of the deal, the media undertaking of Viacom18 will be merged into Star India Private Ltd (SIPL) through a court-approved scheme of arrangement.

In addition, RIL has agreed to invest at closing ₹11,500 crore into the JV for its growth strategy. The transaction values the JV at ₹70,352 crore ($ 8.5 billion) on a post-money basis, excluding synergies.

Post completion of the above steps, the JV will be controlled by RIL and owned 16.34% by RIL, 46.82% by Viacom18 and 36.84% by Disney.

A joint statement says Disney may also contribute certain additional media assets to the JV, subject to regulatory and third-party approvals.

Nita Ambani will be the chairperson of the JV, with Uday Shankar as vice-chairperson. "The JV will be one of the leading TV and digital streaming platforms for entertainment and sports content in India. The JV will have over 750 million viewers across India and will also cater to the Indian diaspora across the world," the statement adds.

With the addition of Disney’s films and shows to Viacom18’s productions and sports offerings, the JV will offer a digital-focused entertainment experience, the company adds.

The JV will also be granted "exclusive rights" to distribute Disney films and productions in India, with a license to more than 30,000 Disney content assets, providing a full suite of entertainment options for the Indian consumer.

On signing the deal, Mukesh Ambani, chairman & MD, of RIL terms it a "landmark agreement". "We have always respected Disney as the best media group globally and are very excited at forming this strategic joint venture that will help us pool our extensive resources, creative prowess, and market insights to deliver unparalleled content at affordable prices to audiences across the nation."

Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, says India is the world’s most populous market, and the company is excited about the opportunities the JV will provide to create long-term value for the company.

"Reliance has a deep understanding of the Indian market and consumer, and together we will create one of the country’s leading media companies, allowing us to better serve consumers with a broad portfolio of digital services and entertainment and sports content.”

Uday Shankar, co-founder of Bodhi Tree Systems, says the joint venture is poised to shape the future of entertainment in India and accelerate Digital India.

The transaction is subject to regulatory, shareholder and other customary approvals and is expected to be completed in the last quarter of Calendar Year 2024 or the first quarter of calendar year 2025.

Follow us on Facebook, X, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.