Reliance Industries seeks US$1.6 bln investment to increase Viacom18 stake

Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries is looking to raise US$1.6 billion to buy ViacomCBS out of their joint-venture operation Viacom18.

Reliance owns 51% of Viacom18, with the business running channels in India including Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. The remainder is owned by ViacomCBS.

According to Reuters, Reliance is in talks with an investment company led by James Murdoch and former Disney exec Uday Shankar to help fund the deal. 

The deal would see Reliance increase its stake in Viacom18 to 90%, with ViacomCBS retaining the remaining 10%.

Reuters cited a spokesperson for Reliance who said that it “evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis.”

The deal comes at a time of increased competition in the Indian TV sector, with Sony India agreeing a deal to acquire leading media group Zee Entertainment to create a new company with a cash balance of approximately US$1.575 billion.

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