RIL to acquire 5 per cent stake in Eros International

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is to acquire a 5-per cent stake in NYSE-listed Eros International at $15 per share, representing an 18-per cent premium to its last closing price.

Furthermore, RIL and Eros International Media Limited (Eros India) will jointly produce and consolidate content from across India. The parties will equally invest up to Rs1,000 crore (about $150 million) to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages.

In addition, Eros Group CEO and MD Jyoti Deshpande will step down from her executive role after more than 17 years in Eros and move on to head the media and entertainment business at RIL as President of the Chairman's Office.

''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 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,'' RIL chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said.

Deshpande will start her role at RIL from April 2018, but will continue to remain as a non-executive director on the board of Eros. Kishore Lulla will resume his position of group chairman and CEO of Eros, the companies said in a joint statement.

In her new role at RIL, Deshpande will lead the company's initiatives in media and entertainment to organically build and grow businesses around the content ecosystem such as broadcasting, films, sports, music, digital, gaming and animation among others. She will also lead to integrate RIL's existing media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms with a view to build, scale and consolidate the fragmented USD 20 billion Indian M&E sector.

''I am very pleased that Eros is partnering with RIL in its entertainment journey with several synergies across technology, content and digital with Eros Now. We look forward to collaborating and growing as we continue to make new strides on the digital and content forefronts. I am confident that together, we can make a meaningful difference. Jyoti Deshpande has been an invaluable part of the incredible Eros growth journey and I am confident that she will make a positive impact on the industry in her new role at RIL. I wish her the very best of luck,'' Kishore Lulla said.

Eros International acquires, co-produces and distributes Indian films across all available formats such as cinema, television and digital new media.