RIL to acquire 5% stake in Eros International for Rs 1000 crore

Mindy Sparks
February 24, 2018

Indian giant Reliance Industries Limited has taken a minority 5% stake in media company Eros International. The deal is expected to close in the next three months. "The parties will equally invest up to Rs 1,000 crore in aggregate (approximately $150 million) to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages", the statement said.

In addition, Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO and managing director at Eros, will be stepping down and move on to head the media and entertainment business at Reliance as president of the Chairman's Office.

"Having worked and associated with Eros group since 1998, it has been an integral part of my professional career and I extend my heartfelt thanks to Kishore Lulla and the Eros family for the opportunity to build an incredible company together".

Deshpande will start work at Reliance from April, but will remain as a non-executive director on the board of Eros. "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", said RIL chief Mukesh Ambani in the statement.

Reliance had also picked up 24.9% stake in television and film production house Balaji Telefilms for Rs 413 crore in July a year ago and added original content from Balaji Telefilms' video streaming service ALTBalaji to its video offerings like Jio Cinema and JioTV last month.

The partnership will further expand the content catalogue in Jio's own media and content apps as the company seeks to differentiate itself from other telecom players such as Airtel and Vodafone with data and content packages. "Jyoti and I look forward to continuing to work together closely in her new role".

It's worth noting that Reliance already has a working relationship with Eros. In 2016, Reliance launched its telecom offering, Jio, attracting customers by offering data and voice calls at rock-bottom prices, or even free, thereby shaking up the Indian telecom sector.

The company has an extensive and growing movie library with over 3,000 films, which include Hindi, Tamil and other regional language titles.

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