Reliance Industries (RIL) within its retail arm Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) declared that it is procuring a majority stake of 66.95% in local search engine company JustDial for Rs 3,497 crore.

On Friday, RRVL declared that it will hold 40.95% and will make an expansive offer to procure up to 26% following takeover statutes. RRVL, Just Dial and VSS Mani & others executed definitive agreements which will require a preferred allotment of 2.12 crore equity shares (equivalent to 25.33% post preferential share capital) at a price per share of Rs 1,022.25 to Reliance Retail. RRVL also collected 1.31 crore equity shares from VSS Mani, which is comparable to 15.62% post preferential share capital at a price per share of Rs 1,020.

RRVL would shortly make a public announcement to the public shareholders of Just Dial to acquire up to 2.17 crore equity shares of Just Dial representing 26% following the SEBI Takeover Regulations.

VSS Mani shall remain as managing director and chief executive officer to manage Just Dial through the next stage of growth. The capital invested by RRVL will aid to drive the fullness and enlargement of Just Dial into a wide local listing and commerce platform. Just Dial would extend discovery on its platform and improve transactions for millions of products and services. The investments are said to leverage Just Dial's subsisting database of about 30.4 million listings and its current consumer traffic of 129.1 million quarterly unique users (as of 31 March 2021).

Speaking on this transaction, Isha Ambani, director of RRVL said Reliance is delighted to partner with Justdial and Mr VSS Mani, a first-generation entrepreneur, who has formed a strong business through his business intelligence and determination. The investment in Just Dial marks our dedication to New Commerce by further increasing the digital ecosystem for millions of our partner merchants, micro, small and medium businesses. We look forward to working with the highly experienced management team of Just Dial as we further intend to expand the business going forward.

VSS Mani, founder and CEO at Justdial said Approximately 25 years ago, we had the concept to establish a connected and coherent single platform committed to rendering fast, free, secure and complete information to our users and unite buyers to sellers. Our vision has emerged to not only provide search and discovery but encourage commerce across merchants through our B2B platform and facilitate further consumer to merchant commerce given our platform compactness. Our imperative partnership with Reliance empowers us to accomplish this vision and convert the business going forward. The business is subject to shareholder and other customary closing conditions and approvals.

On Friday, shares of Just Dial dropped at 3.04% to Rs 1073.30 while shares of RIL escalated 1.37% to Rs 2111.80.