Reliance Industries Ltd said it will acquire a 5 percent equity stake in the NYSE-listed Eros International Plc for USD 48.77 million. RIL has picked the equity at a price of USD 15 per share, which represents an 18 percent premium to the last closing price.
RIL and Eros International Media Ltd also said they would partner in India to jointly produce and consolidate content across India. The two parties will together invest up to ₹1,000 crore to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages.
The move is part of RIL’s gameplan to get access to content as it builds a digital business on the Reliance Jio platform. It has inked several deals in the media space, including the recent one to acquire a 65 percent stake in Indian Film Combine for ₹1,105 crore.
Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO and MD of Eros, will be stepping down from her Executive role after more than 17 years in the organization and will move on to head the Media and Entertainment business at RIL. Deshpande will start her role at RIL from April, but will continue to remain as a Non-Executive Director on the board of Eros.
Kishore Lulla will resume his position as Group Chairman and CEO of Eros.
In her new role at RIL, Deshpande will lead the company’s initiatives in Media and Entertainment to organically grow businesses around the content ecosystem and integrate existing media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms.
In a statement, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani said: “We are pleased to join hands with Eros, as it will bring further synergies into our plans, making for a win-win partnership. We are delighted to welcome Jyoti Deshpande into the Reliance family and believe that she will not only give wings to our plans but also play a pivotal role in transforming the sector.” – The Hindu Business Line