(Bloomberg) -- The Walt Disney Co. and Reliance Industries Ltd. agreed to create a joint venture valued at $8.5 billion that will combine their respective digital streaming and television assets in India.

As part of the transaction announced Wednesday, Mumbai-based media company Viacom18 will be merged into Disney’s Star India Private Ltd., according to a statement from the companies.

Reliance will hold a 16% stake, 47% by Viacom18, and 37% by Disney. Disney may also contribute certain other media assets to the venture. The pact is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2024 or the first quarter of 2025.

“Reliance has a deep understanding of the Indian market and consumer, and together we will create one of the country’s leading media companies,” Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said in the statement.

The deal will create one of the leading TV and digital streaming platforms for entertainment and sports content in India, the companies said, combining iconic media and sports assets including access to highly anticipated events through JioCinema and Hotstar. The joint venture will reach more than 750 million viewers across India and cater to the Indian diaspora around the world.


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