Emaar Malls bids for Souq.com - report

Monday 27 March 2017 | 15:05 CET | News
Emaar Malls has tendered a bid for online retailer Souq.com in a challenge to an offer made by Amazon.com, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The retail division of Emaar Properties, run by Mohamed Alabbar, offered about USD 800 million for Souq.com, which includes a convertible deposit of USD 500 million, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the talks are private. Amazon has an exclusivity clause in its buyout talks for the online retailer, the person said. 

A final agreement has not been reached with any bidder, the people said. An Emaar spokesman declined to comment. A representative for Souq.com could not immediately be reached for comment.

Emaar Chairman Alabbar is increasingly focusing on technology investments. He is leading a USD 1 billion technology investment company formed with other regional investors, and raised USD 1 billion from investors including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to create e-commerce firm Noon.

Alabbar bought a stake in regional logistics firm Aramex  in July and 4 percent of Yoox Net-a-Porter for EUR 100 million in April. Amazon restarted talks to acquire Souq.com in a deal valued at as much as USD 650 million after walking away earlier, people familiar with the matter said this month. Souq.com was valued at USD 1 billion in its last funding round, people with knowledge of the matter said in April 2015. 

The retailer raised USD 275 million, making it the most valuable internet company in the Middle East, according to Standard Chartered, which had invested in the company. Souq.com’s existing investors include Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers. The firm hired Goldman Sachs Group to find buyers for a stake last year, people said at the time.

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