Disney is reportedly set to sell its India operations to local rival Reliance Industries which is controlled by billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani.
Bloomberg News reported that Reliance, whose broadcast division Viacom18 runs streaming service JioCinema, values Disney’s India assets at between $7 billion and $8 billion.
JioCinema has grown quickly and put pressure on Disney in India. JioCinema last year bought streaming rights to the highly popular Indian Premier League cricket for $2.7 billion and has started broadcasting the tournament for free. It has also agreed a deal for HBO’s premium content.
Read more WBD Max European Launch Set for 2024
Disney has reportedly been exploring options to sell or find a partner for its India assets for several months. Interested parties are said to include billionaires Gautam Adani and Sun TV Network-owner Kalanithi Maran as well as private equity firm Blackstone, according to media reports.
However, Bloomberg News reported this week that that the deal to sell a majority stake to Reliance Industries was nearing completion. The deal could be announced as early as next month, although no final decision has been made and Disney could still decide to hold onto the assets, Bloomberg reported.
The enterprise value of the India business, Disney’s biggest last year globally by users, was seen at around $15 billion to $16 billion when Disney took over Fox’s business.
Read more Sunset+Vine names Peter Angell as CEO