Disney Will Sell Controlling Interest in Star India for $3.9 Billion – Far Less Than It Was Worth at Acquisition

Star India was valued between $7 and 16 billion when Disney acquired it in 2019

Bob Iger and Mukesh Ambani
Bob Iger and Mukesh Ambani (Credit: Getty Images)

Disney reached a preliminary agreement to sell a controlling interest in Star India on Wednesday and set the value of the Indian media giant far below what it was worth when first acquired five years ago.

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night that Disney has valued Star India at $3.9 billion ahead of the planned sale to Viacom18, formed in partnership between billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, Bodhi Tree Systems and Paramount Global. 

Disney acquired Star India when it bought its parent company, 20th Century Fox for $71.3 billion in 2019. At the time, Star India’s estimated value, according to The Wall Street Journal, was between $7 and $16 billion, based in large part on Star India’s dominance in cricket coverage.

The $3.9 value is also far below what Disney was hoping to get for it. When the sale was tentatively agreed on in December, Disney reportedly valued the company at around $10 billion, while Reliance estimated it somewhere between $7 and $8 billion.

Under the deal, Disney will keep 40% of Star India. The remaining portion will be split between Reliance (51%) and Bodhi Tree (9%).

Viacom18 will pay $1.5 billion cash with the rest of the purchase made in stock.


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