The move values the company, owned by the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, at $3bn and highlights increasing investor interest in Indian entertainment firms. In 2006, Walt Disney took a minority stake in Mumbai-based UTV Communications, while Viacom established a joint venture with India's Network18 last year.
Reliance Entertainment already owns a controlling stake in India's Adlabs and is building a vertically-integrated studio under the BIG Motion Pictures brand.
The company's entertainment interests already encompass physical studios, since acquiring a 50% stake in Mumbai-based Nitin Desai Studios, music and home video labels, BIG Flicks video rental outlets, BIG FM radio stations, social networking site BIG Adda, games publisher Jump Games, gaming portal Zapak, and an animation studio BIG Animation.
It is also developing a slate of around 30 movies, some of which were previously in development at Adlabs which will now focus on distribution, exhibition and film processing. Adlabs founder Manmohan Shetty has stepped down and is now pursuing other ventures, such as world cinema label NDTV Lumiere, launched in partnership with broadcaster NDTV and Alliance Entertainment chief Sunil Doshi.
Reliance Entertainment is also planning to launch two movie channels and developing satellite, IPTV and mobile TV platforms. Last week it announced an exclusive mobile games licensing deal with UK footballclub Manchester United.