Reliance Retail acquires sole control of Just Dial

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Just Dial offers local search and e-commerce services through its website, mobile apps and telephone line. (Representational image)

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail on Thursday said it has acquired sole control of 25-year-old search and discovery firm Just Dial.

The firm’s subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd had in July announced a deal to buy a controlling stake in Just Dial for Rs 3,497 crore.

Further to that announcement, “RRVL has now taken sole control of Just Dial Ltd in accordance with the SEBI Takeover Regulations with effect from September 1, 2021.”

On July 20, 2021, RRVL acquired 1.31 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each of Just Dial at a price of Rs 1,020 per equity share from VSS Mani, founder and chief executive of Just Dial, in a block deal.

“The acquisition represents 15.63 per cent of the post-preferential issue paid-up equity share capital of Just Dial,” the statement said.

On September 1, 2021, Just Dial, pursuant to the preferential issue, allotted 2.12 crore equity shares of Rs 10 each at a price of Rs 1,022.25 per equity share, representing 25.35 per cent of share capital, to RRVL.

Together, RRVL now holds 40.90 per cent in Just Dial.

Just Dial offers local search and e-commerce services through its website, mobile apps and telephone line.

From local plumbers to hotels and housekeeping services can be inquired about by just dialling 8888888888.

RRVL will now make an open offer to buy a 26 per cent stake from other shareholders of Just Dial.

Just Dial’s acquisition is one of many Reliance Industries or its subsidiaries including telecom giant Jio Platforms and RelianNce Retail have done in recent months.

In August, Reliance acquired a 60 per cent stake in the pharma marketplace Netmeds’ parent firm Vitalic for Rs 620 crore.

In November, it acquired online furniture startup Urban Ladder for Rs 182.12 crore in a distress sale.

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Last year, Reliance Retail also entered into a Rs 24,713 crore deal to buy Future Group, India’s second-largest retail chain. That deal is current stuck in courts with American e-commerce giant Amazon challenging it.

Just Dial had 30.4 million listings and 129.1 million quarterly unique users across web, mobile, App and voice platforms as of March 31, 2021.

The company has recently launched its B2B marketplace platform, JD Mart which is aimed at enabling millions of India’s manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, retailers to become internet-ready in the post-COVID era, get new customers and sell their products online.

The platform offers digital product catalogs to businesses and aims at digitalizing India’s businesses, especially MSMEs, across categories.

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