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Reliance Industries buys Balaji Telefilms stake for Rs 4.13 bn

MUMBAI: The Board of Directors of Balaji Telefilms Limited, in its meeting held on Thursday, considered and approved an investment by Reliance Industries Limited, one of India’s leading corporates, through a preferential issue of 25.2 million equity shares at Rs 164 each, aggregating to Rs 4.13 billion, subject to necessary shareholder and other approvals. Axis Capital Limited acted as the sole investment banker for this transaction.

Balaji is India’s leading entertainment content producer operating across television, movie and digital platforms. The company recently launched ALTBalaji, a multi-device subscription video on demand platform, which offers original, premium and exclusive content for a global digital audience and in a short span, post its launch, has garnered over four million downloads across 80 countries.

This transaction marks a landmark event for the Indian OTT industry and is expected to further accelerate the growing trend of media consumption ‘on-the-go’. The proceeds from the transaction would be utilized to further speed up content development initiatives, especially for ALT, thereby providing it with a strong ability to compete with other OTT service providers- both global and Indian.

Balaji chairman Jeetendra Kapoor said, “We welcome Reliance as a partner in our growth journey towards becoming the preferred content producer for the Indian diaspora across all means of video consumption and across all geographies. This investment is a vote of confidence to the Company’s strategic move to own our IP and our viewers."

Earlier, Jio and Zee Entertainment reportedly denied reports of being offered to buy a stake in ALTBalaji. Balaji was planning to sell up to 26 per cent stake in its subsidiary ALTBalaji Digital and reportedly in talks with the media companies. Launched in mid-April ALTBalaji has 250 plus hours of programming.

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