According to a Bloomberg News story on Tuesday, Reliance Industries and Walt Disney Co. are expected to formally formalise an agreement, possibly as early as Monday, for the merging of their media operations in India through a cash-and-stock deal.
The billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Viacom18, Reliance's broadcasting arm, is home to JioCinema, which has increased competition for Disney India and other streaming services.
Ambani used the Indian Premier League cricket event, over which Disney had previously controlled the digital rights, to deliberately promote the platform by offering free entry.
According to Bloomberg's sources, if the acquisition goes through, Reliance will contribute money to guarantee at least a 51 percent share in the combined company, with Disney holding the remaining ownership. However, the story omitted information regarding the deal's financial parameters.
The Economic Times newspaper revealed that the two businesses are nearing completion on defining the specifics of a non-binding term sheet that will merge their media businesses in India.
Reuters's inquiries for comment have not yet received a fast response from Disney or Reliance.
Reliance was reportedly valuing Disney's India holdings, which included Star India and the Disney+ Hotstar streaming service, at a $7 billion to $8 billion premium in October, according to reports. Disney estimated that these operations were worth $10 billion at the same time.