Reliance Industries Limited, through a subsidiary, will be acquiring a 5% stake in Eros International Plc at a price of $15 per share, the company informed BSE. It’s not clear which subsidiary this is. Note that the deal is still subject to requisite regulatory and other approvals.
As part of the deal, the two companies will also partner to both “produce and consolidate content from across India.” They will be investing up to Rs 1,000 crores to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages.
Following the deal, the Group CEO and MD of Eros, Jyoti Deshpande will step down from her position and take charge of Reliance’s media and entertainment business from April 2018. However, she will continue to serve as a non-executive director on the Eros board. Deshpande will be responsible for the content ecosystem across broadcasting, films, sports, music, digital, gaming, and animation among others. She will also be responsible for integrating Reliance’s “existing media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms.” Kishore Lulla will resume his role as the Group Chairman and CEO of Eros.
As of December 2017, Eros’ OTT platform Eros Now had a paid subscriber base of 5 million users, while the total number of registered users at the end of 2017 stood at 80 million. The paid subscribers represented 6.25% of the total registered users. According to Eros, a paying subscriber is one who has made a valid payment to subscribe to a service that includes the Eros Now service, either as part of a bundle or on a standalone basis, either directly or indirectly through a telecom operator or OEM in any given month, be it through a daily, weekly or monthly billing pack, as long as the validity of the pack is for at least one month.
Note that last month, the company had appointed Ali Hussein as its new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Eros Digital. He is responsible for Eros’ digital businesses, including Eros Now.