Beefing up its content play, RIL agrees to buy 5% stake in Eros for $49 Mn

Eros

Reliance Industries is investing $48.75 million in film and entertainment company Eros International for 5 per cent stake. Following the deal, Eros International is issuing 3.25 million shares to Reliance Industries at $15 per share.

The deal is expected to close in the next three months.

Besides the deal, RIL and Eros India will jointly invest $150 million to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across various vernacular languages.

Post investment announcement, Eros’s CEO Jyoti Deshpande will head RIL’s media and entertainment business. Deshpande is reportedly joining RIL this April, however, she will continue to remain as a non-executive director of the Eros Board.

The fresh deal will allow Jio subscribers to access Eros Now’s full-length movies and music videos along with other features like multi-language subtitles, video progression and regional language filters among several others.

This investment will also usher RIL in striking more collaborations in the future with the film and entertainment companies for generating original content for web and mobile audience.

Founded in 1977, Eros claims to have movie library comprising of over 2,000 films, including recent and classic titles that span different genres, budgets and languages. It has also reached 80 million registered users and 5 million paying subscribers worldwide in December last year.

Also Read: Reliance Industries invests Rs 413.28 crore to buy out 25% stake in Balaji Telefilms

Of late, Reliance has aggressively been investing into original content creators. Last July, it invested Rs 413.28 crore to buy out about 25 per cent stake in Balaji Telefilms’ subscription-based video streaming service ALT Balaji.

Over the past two years, OTT space in India has been crowded as many players jumped on video streaming bandwagon. Besides Amazon, Netflix and Hotstar, Alibaba and Facebook are also slated to enter video streaming market soon.

With OTT offerings Alibaba eyes at entertainment-centric short video space (less than 20 minutes). While Facebook has also announced to launch its original video offering ‘watch’ by March this year.

Broadcaster Star India-owned video streaming app Hotstar commands top position in OTT space in India.

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