BURBANK, Calif. (Diya TV) — The Walt Disney Company and Reliance Industries have joined forces to merge their media operations in India, reshaping the landscape of the country’s entertainment industry. The collaboration comes amid fierce competition and strategic realignment in the populous market.

Under the agreement, Reliance’s media unit and its affiliates are expected to hold a majority stake of at least 61% in the merged entity, with Disney retaining just under 37% of the combined companies. Reliance will invest $1.4 billion into the joint venture, which is valued at $8.5 billion, while Disney will provide a content license.

Disney’s decision to consolidate its India business with Reliance reflects its efforts to navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the dynamic Indian market. With Reliance’s extensive resources and Disney’s global expertise, the partnership aims to create a dominant force in India’s rapidly evolving media landscape.

While both companies have refrained from commenting on the pact, industry insiders speculate that the deal signifies a strategic move to enhance their market presence and leverage synergies in content creation and distribution.

This partnership marks a significant development in the Indian media and entertainment sector, following similar consolidation efforts by other industry players. Industry experts say this merger was a counter move in response to the proposed Zee & Sony merger, which was denied by regulators. The denial of the Zee & Sony merger left both companies seeking alternative strategies to fortify their positions in the Indian media landscape. By combining forces, the merged entity aims to not only compete effectively with existing players but also to better position itself against potential future challenges and disruptions in the rapidly evolving Indian media market. The transaction underscores the growing importance of India as a key market for global media conglomerates seeking to expand their footprint and tap into the country’s burgeoning consumer base.