Reliance Retail to acquire controlling stake in Just Dial for Rs 3,497 Cr

Reliance Retail has offered to buy 40.95 percent of Just Dial and make an additional open offer to acquire a 26 percent stake for a total consideration of Rs 3,497 crore. VSS Mani will continue to lead Just Dial as its MD and CEO.
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Reliance Retail has made a Rs 3,497 crore offer to Just Dial to hold a controlling stake in the local information and business listings platform.

This is Reliance Retail's fourth acquisition — after Future Group, Netmeds, and UrbanLadder — in the last 12 months.

It will hold 40.95 percent in Just Dial, and make an open offer to acquire up to 26 percent (roughly 2.17 crore equity shares) in line with SEBI's takeover regulations.

Just Dial founder VSS Mani will continue to lead the company as Managing Director and CEO, Reliance said in a statement on Friday.

The capital infused by Reliance Retail will help drive the growth and expansion of Just Dial towards making it a comprehensive local listing, discovery, and commerce platform and enhance transactions for millions of products and services.

The investment would leverage the 25-year-old company's existing database of 30.4 million listings and 129.1 million quarterly unique users (at the end of FY21). 

VSS Mani, Founder, Just Dial

Talking of the "strategic partnership" with Reliance, VSS Mani, Founder and CEO at Justdial, said, Nearly 25 years ago, we had the vision to build a connected single platform dedicated to providing fast, free, and comprehensive information to our users and connect buyers to sellers. Our vision has evolved to not only provide search and discovery but drive commerce across merchants through our B2B platform and enable consumer-to-merchant commerce given our platform engagement."

This acquisition comes at a time when the Mukesh Ambani-owned conglomerate is looking to ramp up its database of small merchants and accelerate its hyperlocal commerce operations. Just Dial's listings span across 250 Indian cities and have notched up 121.24 million reviews and ratings, making it a perfect fit for RIL.

Isha Ambani, Director of Reliance Retail, said in a statement,

“Reliance is excited to partner with Just Dial and VSS Mani, a first-generation entrepreneur, who has created a strong business through his business acumen and perseverance. The investment in Just Dial underlines our commitment to New Commerce by further boosting the digital ecosystem for millions of our partner merchants, micro, small and medium enterprises."

"We look forward to working with the highly experienced management team of Just Dial as we further expand the business going forward," she added.

Just Dial's stock was up nearly four percent since Thursday in anticipation of the deal. Its market cap stood at  Rs 6,980 crore at the time of the deal.

Edited by Suman Singh

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