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Reliance in talks to acquire majority stake in Netmeds

Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited is reportedly in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in Chennai-based online pharmacy Netmeds. 

As a part of the deal, Reliance may integrate $130-$150 million for the asset through one of its subsidiaries along with a fresh infusion of capital in Netmeds to expand the operations, said a TOI report quoting sources aware of the development.

The talks for this acquisition had been on before the lockdown. The deal would take place at a slight premium to Netmeds’ last funding round valuation, added the report.

Reliance has been building up it’s online to offline commerce business by acquiring controlling stakes in several business-to-business and consumer-facing Internet companies. 

This development comes a few weeks after Facebook acquired a 9.9% stake for Rs 43,574 crore or $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio and days after private equity firm Silver Lake acquired a 1.15% stake in their digital arm.

It’s worth noting that Netmeds recently launched its grocery delivery service via RIL-owned Reliance Retail.

If the deal goes through, Netmeds would be the eighth company that Reliance has acquired since 2017. It has spent close to $3 billion on acquisitions in companies including Saavn, Embibe, Fynd, Haptik, and NowFloats among others. 

Entrackr had exclusively reported on Reliance acquiring a majority stake in fashion-e-commerce platform Fynd and Saas-based NowFloats.

Netmeds, the five-year-old pharmacy firm, has raised $100 million in its funding rounds till now. The most recent includes an infusion of Rs 250 crore from its parent entity Tresara Health Pvt Ltd in October 2019. 

Currently, the company sells prescription drugs, personal care products, medical devices surgical and baby accessories, and groceries.

To fuel its growth, Netmeds has also made few acquisitions since its inception. It acquired JustDoc in September 2018, Delhi-based hyperlocal drugs delivery startup Pluss in November 2016, and KiViHealth in March last year.

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