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Viacom18 completes transaction with Reliance, Bodhi Tree Systems and Paramount Global

Leading broadcaster Viacom18 on Thursday said it has completed the transaction for strategic partnership with Reliance, Bodhi Tree Systems, and Paramount Global.

Following the approval of the scheme of merger of Reliance Storage Ltd with Viacom18 by the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal, the broadcaster has allotted shares to Bodhi Tree Systems and RIL group entities as consideration for the merger, according to a statement.

Post the merger, TV18 will have 50.994% equity in Viacom18 while the rest would be held by Paramount Global and Bodhi Tree, an investment venture of James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems and Uday Shankar, ex-Chairman of Star and Disney India.

“Viacom18 will continue to be a controlled subsidiary of TV18,” it added.

Paramount Global, formerly known as ViacomCBS, is a leading global media and entertainment company.

With the merger, the integration of JioCinema into Viacom18 has been completed, the statement said.

Now, Viacom18 has access to Rs 15,145 crore of cash for its planned growth, comprising Rs 10,839 crore contributed by RIL group entities and Rs 4,306 crore contributed by Bodhi Tree Systems,” it added.

Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, is an investor in Bodhi Tree.

Last year in April, Bodhi Tree Systems announced it will invest Rs 13,500 crore in Viacom18 as part of a tripartite partnership with billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, to form one of the largest TV and digital streaming firms in India.

JioCinema has exclusive rights for digital streaming of the ongoing Tata IPL 2023. Reliance-backed Viacom18 got digital rights from the cricket board BCCI for Rs 20,500 crore for the 2023-27 cycle of the IPL.

“The partnership will enable Viacom 18 to innovate and disrupt the M&E sector, with Uday Shankar and James Murdoch providing strategic and operational guidance to Viacom 18, leveraging their track record of building iconic media businesses,” the statement said.

Uday Shankar has also been appointed to the board of Viacom18.

“Paramount Global will continue as a shareholder and supply Viacom18 its premium global content. This unique partnership brings together India’s biggest conglomerate, two of the most recognised media industry veterans and a leading global media and entertainment company,” it added.

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