MUMBAI (Reuters) - Oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries's retail arm is buying a nearly 41% stake in search and database firm Just Dial Ltd for 34.97 billion rupees ($468.84 million), the companies said late on Friday.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Retail will also make an open offer to public shareholders of Just Dial to acquire an additional 26%, according to regulatory requirements.
Reliance has been on an acquisition spree to ramp up its online retail offerings and, over the past three years, has bought British toy retailer Hamleys, music streaming service Saavn, online furniture retailer Urban Ladder and e-pharmacy Netmeds.
The deal with Just Dial, subject to shareholder and other approvals, will help Reliance get access to the company's massive merchant database that spans across the country.
The deal will boost "the digital ecosystem for millions of our partner merchants, micro, small and medium enterprises," Isha Ambani, a director at Reliance Retail, said in the statement.
Just Dial has a database of about 30.4 million listings as on 31 March 2021 and gets consumer traffic of about 129.1 million unique users each quarter.
The capital infusion from the deal will help Just Dial expand discovery on its platform and boost transactions for millions of its products and services.
Just Dial's Managing Director VSS Mani will continue to lead the company, the statement said.
($1 = 74.5890 Indian rupees)
(Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Sankalp Phartiyal, editing by Louise Heavens)