Reliance Retail Ventures Private Limited, a retail subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited on Friday (July 16, 2021) has acquired a controlling stake in Just Dial, a 25-year-old Internet search and discovery platform for INR 3,497 Cr.
As per the statement, Just Dial founder VSS Mani, Just Dial Limited and RRVL have gone into a definitive agreement which will entail preferential allotment of 25.33% equity shares (2.2 Cr) at price per share of INR 1,022.25. RRVL will acquire 15.62% of equity shares (1.31 Cr) from VSS Mani at a price per share of INR 1,020, thus allowing RRVL to hold a total of 40.95%.
RRVL will be making a public announcement to the public shareholders of Just Dial to acquire upto 26% of equity share as per SEBI’s acquisition guidelines. Eventually, RRVL will own a total of 66.95% in Just Dial.
As per RRVL, the investment will help Just Dial to further grow and expand.
Morgan Stanley acted as financial advisor, JM Financial as manager to the open offer, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co as legal advisors and Deloitte as accounting and tax advisors to RRVL.
Goldman Sachs acted as exclusive financial advisor, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas as legal advisor and Ernst & Young provided tax advisory and diligence services to Just Dial and its promoters.
Speaking on this transaction, Isha Ambani, director of RRVL, said “Reliance is excited to partner with Justdial and Mr. 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.”
As per the deal, VSS Mani will continue to lead Just Dial Limited as managing director and chief executive officer (CEO).
VSS Mani, founder and CEO at Justdial, said “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 realise this vision and transform the business going forward.”
Just Dial at present has an extensive database of around 30.4 Mn listings and its existing consumer traffic is of around 129.1 Mn quarterly unique users.