Reliance may log in to local search engine, Just Dial
Reliance is known for its penchant for aggressive inorganic growth. In the last one year, Reliance Industries became zero-net debt on the back of its mega rights issue as well as the placement with PE funds. With a war chest in place, Reliance may be about to announce a mega-deal to acquire a majority stake in Just Dial. While a formal announcement is expected over the weekend, Just Dial will be one more interesting addition to the digital ecosystem of Reliance.
Read: Reliance AGM 2021
Promoted by VSS Mani more than 25 years ago, Just Dial is a market leader in the local search engine segment with 15 crore average quarterly unique visitors. For Reliance, the acquisition of Just Dial will give them the necessary bandwidth among customers and suppliers. For its mega digital plans as well as onboarding vendors and customers on the Retail platform, Just Dial will almost be a natural fit for Reliance Industries.
The acquisition of Just Dial is likely to be done in two phases. In the first phase, Reliance will buy part of the promoter stake from VSS Mani and its family. The promoter family holds 35.5% in Just Dial, valued at Rs.2,388 crore. Subsequently, Reliance will also make an open offer to public shareholders of Just Dial to acquire another 26% from to comply with SEBI regulations. Just Dial is currently valued at Rs.6,900 crore, so it is estimated that Reliance could pay over Rs.4,100 crore for around 60% stake in Just Dial. Mani is expected to become a junior partner in the company.
Apparently, talks have been on since April, with Goldman Sachs advising on the deal.
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