NCLT Nods to Viacom18-Disney India Merger, Creating a Media Powerhouse

In a landmark development for the Indian media and entertainment industry, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has granted approval for the merger plan involving Viacom18 and Walt Disney’s Star India, paving the way for the creation of a colossal entity with an estimated worth of Rs 70,000 crore. The merger, which follows a significant deal between Mukesh Ambani’s Viacom18 and Disney India, has garnered regulatory clearance from the NCLT, marking a pivotal moment in the consolidation of media assets in the country.

According to a report by the Economic Times, a division bench comprising judicial member Kishore Vemulapalli and technical member Anu Jagmohan Singh issued the approval on May 7. As part of the merger process, Viacom18 and Star India have been instructed to convene meetings with their secured and unsecured creditors to secure their consent for the proposed amalgamation. This step underscores the regulatory diligence exercised by the NCLT to ensure compliance with legal requirements and stakeholder interests.

Prior to obtaining NCLT approval, both Viacom18 and Star India were mandated to serve notices and copies of the merger plan to various government bodies and regulatory authorities. The absence of objections from these entities within a stipulated 30-day period is construed as implicit approval for the proposed merger, further facilitating the regulatory clearance process.

The merger between Viacom18 and Star India represents a strategic alignment of media assets aimed at creating a formidable entity in the Indian media landscape. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance, which spearheaded the deal, disclosed plans to infuse Rs 11,500 crore into the newly formed media conglomerate. Upon completion of the merger, the combined entity will command control over a vast portfolio comprising more than 100 TV channels and two prominent streaming platforms—Disney+ Hotstar and JioCinema.

Leading the helm of the newly formed entity will be Nita Ambani, wife of Mukesh Ambani, assuming the role of Chairperson. Nita Ambani’s visionary leadership and strategic acumen are poised to drive the company’s growth trajectory in the dynamic media sector. Accompanying her in a pivotal role will be media stalwart Uday Shankar, who is slated to serve as Vice-Chairperson, bringing his wealth of experience and industry insights to the fore.

The merger between Viacom18 and Star India heralds a new era of consolidation and collaboration within the Indian media ecosystem. With a robust portfolio of content offerings spanning television and digital platforms, the merged entity is poised to leverage synergies and capitalize on emerging opportunities in an increasingly digitized and content-driven landscape.

As the merger enters its final stages of completion, stakeholders anticipate the emergence of a media powerhouse capable of shaping the future of entertainment and storytelling in India, underscoring the transformative impact of strategic partnerships and visionary leadership in driving industry evolution and innovation.

News Bureau
News Bureau
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