In a major announcement, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and Eros International PLC (Eros) has announced a partnership with former agreeing to subscribe 5 percent equity stake in later through a subsidiary at a price of $15 per share, representing 18 percent premium to last closing price. Both companies also announced their agreement to partner in order to jointly produce and consolidate content within the country. Reliance and Eros will invest equally up to Rs 1,000 crores in aggregate (approximately $150 million) so as to produce and acquire Indian movies and digital originals in all languages.
The statement also confirmed that Eros CEO and MD Jyoti Deshpande will step down from her Executive role after being at the post for 17 years and switch over to head the Media and Entertainment business at RIL as president of the chairman’s Office. While she will begin her new role at RIL from April, Deshpande will continue to remain as a Non-Executive Director on the Board of Eros. She will be replaced in Eros by Kishore Lulla as CEO and chairman of Eros.
After taking over new role, Deshpande will lead the company’s initiatives in Media and Entertainment in order to build and grow businesses around the content ecosystem like Films, Sports, Broadcasting, Digital, Music, Animation, Gaming etc., as also to integrate RIL’s current media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms with an aim to build, scale and consolidate the fragmented $20 billion Indian M&E sector.
Commenting on the development, Mukesh Ambani, Chairman & Managing Director, RIL said, “We are pleased to join hands with Eros, as it will bring further synergies into our plans, making for a win-win partnership. We are delighted to welcome Ms. Jyoti Deshpande into the Reliance family and believe that she will not only give wings to our plans but also play a pivotal role in transforming the sector.”
“Having worked and associated with Eros group since 1998, it has been an integral part of my professional career and I extend my heartfelt thanks to Kishore Lulla and the Eros family for the opportunity to build an amazing company together. I am delighted that RIL has strategically aligned with Eros, so the association continues. My new assignment at RIL will allow me to push boundaries, set new standards of excellence, assemble a world-class young leadership team and adopt a collaborative approach to architect and execute this ambition in true RIL tradition. I am genuinely honored and humbled to have been granted this opportunity but more than anything I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves,” Deshpande said.