James Murdoch, Uday Shankar likely to acquire 40% stake in Viacom18

James Murdoch and Uday Shankar
James Murdoch and Uday Shankar

US-based media conglomerate ViacomCBS Inc is likely to sell a significant stake in its joint venture with the media and entertainment arm of Reliance industries to Uday Shankar, the former Chairman of Star India and President of Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific, and James Murdoch, son of media baron Rupert Murdoch, media reports said.

ViacomCBS will retain only 10 per cent stake in the joint venture in which TV18 is the majority owner with 51 per cent. The remaining 39 per cent will be sold to the investment firm Lupa Systems, the private investment company run by Shankar and Murdoch, as per reports.

James Murdoch and former Star & Disney India chairman, Uday Shankar along with Reliance Industries plan to invest over Rs 12,000 crore in the entertainment and sports broadcasting businesses, as per media reports.

Murdoch and Shankar plan to acquire nearly 40 per cent stake in Viacom18.

The company is also planning to raise funds upwards of Rs 12,000 crore from financial investors, according to industry sources, to beef up the media business. Reliance will also invest its own capital into the domain, reports said.

A joint venture of Network18, which owns 51 per cent, and ViacomCBS, with a 49 per cent stake, Viacom18 offers 53 channels and reaches to around 600 million Indians monthly, the report said.

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