Mumbai: Reliance Industries (RIL) has acquired a majority stake in digital pharmacy retailer Netmeds for Rs 620 crore as part of its plan to expand in the e-commerce space. The $87-billion company has routed the Netmeds acquisition deal through its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures.
In a late-night statement, RIL said the investment represents 60% holding in the equity share capital of Vitalic and 100% direct equity ownership of its subsidiaries — Tresara Health Private, Netmeds Market Place and Dadha Pharma Distribution.
Netmeds competes with PharmEasy, which is backed by Temasek, CDPQ and others, and Medlife. Incorporated in 2015, Vitalic and its subsidiaries are in the business of pharma distribution, sales, and business support services. Its subsidiary also runs the online pharmacy platform Netmeds to connect customers with pharmacists and enable doorstep delivery of medicines, nutritional health and wellness products.
“This investment is aligned with our commitment to provide digital access for everyone in India. The addition of Netmeds enhances Reliance Retail’s ability to provide good quality and affordable health care products and services, and also broadens its digital commerce proposition to include most daily essential needs of consumers,” said Reliance Retail Ventures director Isha Ambani.
The operating profit of RIL’s retail unit was Rs 1,083 crore in the first quarter of fiscal 2021. Earnings were impacted as 50% of its retail stores were shut for most part of the June quarter due to cessation of activity during the lockdown triggered by Covid-19.
“It is indeed a proud moment for Netmeds to join the Reliance family and work together to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible to every Indian. With the combined strength of the group’s digital, retail and tech platforms, we will strive to create more value for everyone in the ecosystem, while providing a superior omni channel experience to consumers,” said Netmeds founder and CEO Pradeep Dadha.