Mukesh Ambani-helmed Reliance Industries is in advanced negotiations to buy Justdial from its founding promoters for $800-900 million. Once complete, the deal will allow Reliance access to the 25-year-old listings company’s merchant database.
A formal announcement is expected on July 16. The listings company has called for a board meeting on the day, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times.
Justdial is the market leader in the local search engine segment with 150 million average quarterly unique visitors. The company operates across platforms like mobile, apps, website and a telephone hotline with the number 8888888888.
Justdial Managing Director VSS Mani and family control 35.5 per cent of the company that is currently valued at Rs 2,387.9 crore.
Reliance aims to buy partially from Mani and put up an open offer for additional 26 per cent of the company’s equity. At current share prices, it could lead to a payout of Rs 4,102 crore. According to the daily, if the open offer is fully subscribed to then Reliance will own over 60 per cent stake, and Mani will serve as a junior partner.
Reliance is also expected to infuse capital into the listings company.
Both sides have been engaging in talks since April. Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Goldman Sachs are the advisors for this deal.
There were reports earlier that Justdial engaged in talks with Tata Sons for an investment opportunity in Tata Digital’s super app. However, those talks seem to have ended abruptly.
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