RIL appoints Jyoti Deshpande to head M&E biz

Jyoti Deshpande

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries Limited and Eros International PLC have announced that RIL, through a subsidiary, has agreed to subscribe to a 5%  equity stake in the NYSE-listed Eros at a price of $15 per share, which represents an 18 per cent premium to last closing price. 

The transaction is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals.

In addition, it was announced that Jyoti Deshpande, Group CEO and MD of Eros, will be stepping 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. Deshpande will start her role at RIL from April, 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.

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, animation etc., as well as integrate RIL’s existing media investments such as Viacom and Balaji Telefilms with a view to build, scale and consolidate the fragmented $20 billion Indian M&E sector.

Said Mukesh Ambani, chairman & managing director, RIL, in a statement: “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.”

Furthermore, RIL and Eros International Media Limited (“Eros India”) announced that they have agreed to partner in India to jointly produce and consolidate content from across India. The parties will equally invest up to Rs 10 billion in aggregate (approximately $150 million) to produce and acquire Indian films and digital originals across all languages.