Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is gearing up to acquire a majority stake in the online pharmacy Netmeds for a price tag of around $130-150 million which may also include fresh capital infusion which would help Netmeds further expand its operations, reports Times of India.
The discussions are presently said to be in an advanced stage and RIL is likely to make the purchase through one of its subsidiaries. If the deal materialises, it would come as a major boost for Netmeds which had been launched in 2015 and has since raised about $100 million in three rounds.
The deal would mark RIL's second move to deepen its presence in the pharma sector as the company had last year acquired 82 per cent of shareholding in Bengaluru based C-Square Info Solutions which primarily builds software for distributors, retailers and sales force engaged in the sector. RIL had then spent Rs 82 crore on the transaction.
It should be noted that development comes at a time when the online pharmacy industry is gaining major traction amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown. Also, as per a report by RedSeer Consulting, the Indian online pharmacy industry is about $1.2 billion in size and is likely to balloon to over $16 billion within five years.
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