The Mukesh Ambani led Reliance conglomerate is in advanced talks to acquire Justdial. Even after being caught in the cross hairs of the future group deal it has not stopped reliance from making it’s next strategic move. Reliance Retail’s ecommerce platform JioMart reported a 3 times increase in its merchant base for its grocery delivery vertical in the 4th quarter of FY2021, as it plans to expand its services to more new cities, taking the overall presence of the ecommerce platform to 33 cities. The company claims to be witnessing strong merchant response from Tier 3 cities.
Ambani’s Petrochemical to Telecom business is in talks of acquiring a majority stake in Just dial (JD) for $800-900M from its founding promoters. One may ask why would reliance be interested in 25-Year old Justdial? The acquisition of Justdial would be like a gem on the crown for Reliance because it in turn gives them access to it’s merchant database. This would certainly turn the tables for Reliance Retail, Reliance’s next big step. The Mumbai-based firm, Justdial, is a market leader in the local search engine segment with an average of 150 million quarterly unique visitors. The company operates across many different platforms like mobile, apps, website and a telephone hotline (88888 88888).
Justdial has a database of approximately 30.4M listings as on March 31, 2021. Its users have contributed to over 121,000,000+ reviews and ratings for various listings till date. It also gives business owners the option to list their business on Just Dial’s database for no additional costs. Managing Director of Justdial, VSS Mani and family, hold 35.5% stake in the firm. Rs 2,387.9 crore is what the company is currently valued at . RIL aims to buy some stake from Mani and is open to buy another 26% of the company’s equity. At the current share prices, it could lead to a payout of above 4000+ crores. According to report, if the open offer is fully subscribed to, then Reliance will own over 60 per cent stake, and Mani will serve as a junior partner.
Reliance is also planning to infuse capital into the company. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has said that it is not in a position to comment on media speculation about reports that RIL is in advanced talks to buy JustDial for $800-900M. In a regulatory filing, RIL said that they would like to clarify that they are unable to comment on the media speculation and rumors and it would be inappropriate on their part to do so. RIL said the company looks out for various opportunities on a daily basis.