Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries is reportedly in talks to acquire majority stake in Chennai-based online pharmacy Netmeds. As per the agreement, Reliance, through one of its subsidiaries, may pay $130-150 million for the asset, along with a fresh capital infusion in Netmeds to expand the operations, The Economic Times reported quoting sources aware of the development.
"The deal is happening at a slight premium to their last funding round valuation," said the source.
Started in 2015, Netmeds sells prescription drugs, personal care products, medical devices surgical and baby accessories, and groceries. The online store was started by Dadha & Company, a pharmaceutical firm. Netmeds has so far raised about $100 million in three rounds of funding. Besides Dadha, Netmeds is backed by healthcare investor OrbiMed, investment bank MAPE Advisory, Sistema Asia Fund and Singapore-based Daun Penh Cambodia Group.
Meanwhile, RIL and Dadha have refused to comment on media speculation. The ET quoted a Reliance spokesperson as saying that the company evaluates various opportunities on an ongoing basis. The company will inform exchanges according to Sebi on any developments, he added.
Recently, Netmeds tied up with RIL-owned Reliance Retail for supplying essentials like groceries to its customers.
The oil-to-telecom conglomerate is planning to enter into ecommerce space with the launch of grocery delivery platform - JioMart. Last month, Facebook announced a $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) investment to acquire 9.99 per cent stake in Jio Platforms. RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani said the deal with Facebook would empower Jio's new commerce platform, JioMart, to connect with over 3 crore kirana stores via FB's messaging platform WhatsApp.
By Chitranjan Kumar