Viacom18 to strike deal with Blackstone for new Mumbai HQ: Sources

September 22, 2023

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NEW DELHI: Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani‘s broadcasting unit Viacom18 is set to sign a lease deal with Blackstone-owned Nucleus Office Parks for its new headquarters in Mumbai, spread over 400,000 square feet, six sources familiar with the matter said.

Viacom, which runs TV channels and digital streaming platform JioCinema, competes with the likes of Walt Disney in India. Its new headquarters will be spread across roughly eight floors spread across the “One International Center” complex in Mumbai’s business district of Lower Parel.

“It is a marquee deal in terms of area. In Mumbai, rents are so high and every year only three to five such deals happen. This type of relocation is rare,” said the first source, who said the monthly estimated rent paid by Viacom18 will be 60 million Indian rupees ($722,178).

Viacom18 did not respond to a request for comment, while Blackstone declined to comment.

Ambani, Asia’s richest man, has been fast expanding his media and entertainment empire. He runs TV channels including MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central in India, and his streaming platform competes with the likes of Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar.

Viacom18’s shareholders include Ambani’s Reliance, as well as Paramount Global and Bodhi Tree, a joint venture between James Murdoch and former top Disney executive Uday Shankar.

Two of the sources familiar with the office relocation plans said Viacom18 is moving to a new headquarters as it wants to consolidate all its business units – be it tax, finance, sports or digital – in one office.

The office relocation is likely to happen before December, they added.

Blackstone is also finalising plans to launch an initial public offering of its office portfolio-based real estate investment trust in India, and that will include assets of Nucleus Office Parks, Indian media reported in June.

The company has said India is one of its best performing markets. It manages assets worth $50 billion in the country, including in private equity and real estate, and has made over a billion dollars in real estate share sales alone in the past year.

  • Published On Sep 22, 2023 at 09:13 AM IST

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