Billionaire Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Ltd today announced that its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd will acquire a majority stake in Just Dial for Rs 3,497 crore, as per an exchange notification.
Under the agreement, Reliance Retail will acquire 40.95% stake in Just Dial and make an open offer to buy further 26% stake in the search engine platform in accordance with SEBI takeover norms.
Just Dial Founder and CEO VSS Mani will continue as managing director and chief executive officer and will "lead Just Dial through the next phase of growth," the notification said.
The freshly infused capital will aid the growth and expansion of Just Dial into a comprehensive local listing and commerce platform, it added.
Just Dial will expand discovery options on its platform and enhance transactions for millions of products and services. Further, these investments will leverage Just Dial’s existing database of ~30.4 million listings and its existing consumer traffic of ~ 129.1 million quarterly unique users (as on 31 Mar 2021).
Morgan Stanley had acted as a financial advisor for the deal, while JM Financial acted as the manager to the open offer, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co acted as legal advisors and Deloitte played the role of accounting and tax advisors to Reliance Retail.
Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial advisor, while Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas was the legal advisor and Ernst & Young provided tax advisory and diligence services to Just Dial and its promoters.
The transaction is subject to shareholder and other approvals, the notification said.
Commenting on the launch, Isha Ambani, director at Reliance Retail said, "...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."
"Nearly 25 years ago, we had a vision to build a connected single platform dedicated to providing fast, free, reliable 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 further consumer to merchant commerce given our platform engagement. Our strategic partnership with Reliance enables us to realize this vision and transform the business going forward," Mani said.