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Disney to sell stake in India’s Tata Play: report

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 12:08, 23 May 2024  
Disney to sell stake in India’s Tata Play: report

Photo: Collected

The Walt Disney Company has struck a deal to sell its minority stake in an Indian subscription television service to local conglomerate and majority shareholder Tata Group, a report said Thursday.

The transaction values the satellite TV provider, Tata Play, at about $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Tata Group took full control of the platform after buying the 29.8 per cent stake from Disney, the report said., reports BSS/AFP.

Tata Play provides pay television via set-top boxes and over-the-top video streaming through its app, boasting 23 million subscribers.

Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, had already bought a 10 percent stake held by state-owned Singaporean investment vehicle Temasek Holdings for around $100 million, local media reported.

Tata Play had planned an initial public offering in 2022 but the listing has yet to happen.

The latest deal comes after Disney signed an agreement in February to merge its Indian media businesses with local conglomerate Reliance Industries, the biggest Indian company by market cap with interests in energy, luxury retail and telecommunications.

The merger is set to establish an $8.5 billion entertainment giant in the world's most populous nation offering more than 100 television channels and two streaming platforms.

Reliance already has a majority stake in media venture Viacom18 and its streaming app JioCinema.

In 2022 the venture spent more than $3 billion to secure the lucrative digital broadcast rights for the Indian Premier League domestic cricket competition watched by hundreds of millions of people each year.

Disney's Indian streaming service Hotstar had more than 38 million subscribers at the end of 2023, according to company figures, and broke viewership records last year as India hosted the Cricket World Cup.