Google reported in talks to acquire Mumbai-based Just Dial

Alphabet Inc flagship Google is reported to be in talks to acquire Mumbai-based search engine firm Just Dial.

Google's eyes seem to be firmly on India as just a few months ago, it acquired Halli Labs, a Bangalore-based artificial intelligence firm. It also joined hands with UrbanClap and Faasos to start Google Aero, which is a rival of Just Dial.

Shares of Just Dial surged 20 per cent to Rs551 on the NSE in early morning trade today after the reports, which say Google has been talking to Just Dial for an acquisition for some time.

Both the companies entered into exclusive talks about two months ago, the Business Standard reported quoting an investment banker familiar with the discussions.

While the talks are at an initial stage, acquiring Just Dial is expected to be good for Google as it will get an access to Just Dial's database of about 20 million listings.

"Google has been talking to Just Dial for an acquisition for some time. Both the companies entered into exclusive talks about two months ago," an investment banker who is familiar with the talks told Business Standard. "It may take some more time before the discussions are finalised."

Just Dial's chief financial officer Abhishek Bansal told BS, "Just Dial, as part of its regular business, does meet various relevant corporates for exploring any business/strategic tie-ups. In case there are any developments to disclose, we shall do it at an appropriate time."

Google did not respond to queries on the issue.

Just Dial recently reported around 26.50 per cent jump in standalone net profit at Rs37.5 crore for the September quarter. It had posted a net profit of Rs29.6 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The company's revenue from operations stood at Rs194.4 crore in Q2FY18 as against Rs180.3 crore in the year-ago period, up 7.9 per cent.

Just Dial had 10,892 employees at the end of September, 2017 quarter.