The Walt Disney Company’s $71.3-billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which includes Star India, will eliminate 300-350 jobs in India.
The announcement of merger can come later this week or early next week. Both the companies are sharing information and working on the management structure and expect it to close by March 31.
Post-merger, close to 350 positions will become redundant and restructuring will take place. Earlier Disney had laid off many people in a revamp exercise in 2016 and this deal will set off another round of job cuts.
It is reported that Sanjay Gupta, the current Managing Director of Star India can head the merged entity. He will report to Uday Shankar, Chairman of Star and Disney India, and president of The Walt Disney Co Asia Pacific.
Sanjay Jain, who serves as Star India CFO, is expected to move to The Walt Disney Co Asia Pacific in a similar role, while Sujeet Vaidya, CFO at Disney India, will oversee finances of the merged entity.
Abhishek Maheshwari, Country Head of Disney India, will take over the English and kids clusters as well as live events of the merged entity.
Additionally, Gaurav Banerjee, who heads the Hindi general entertainment channels (GECs) for Star India, will lead all Hindi entertainment channels — GECs and movies —including Disney-owned UTV Movies.
While Disney is the world’s largest entertainment company, in India, it is overshadowed by Star India. The deal will catapult Walt Disney to the top seat in the Indian entertainment genre as it will own rights of some of the most significant media properties like the Indian Premier League (IPL), the English Premier League (EPL), top regional language and Hindi TV shows, and films.