Dubai’s Emaar Malls submits $800m bid for Souq.com

The bid has not yet been accepted by the shareholders of Souq.com



Emaar Malls, the retail unit of Dubai-based Emaar Group, has confirmed that it has submitted an $800m bid to acquire Souq.com.

The company revealed the bid in a statement to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) – where Emaar Malls is listed – on Monday.

The move to acquire UAE-based Souq – the largest e-commerce company in the Middle East and North Africa – is “in line with strategy to align e-commerce with physical shopping,” Emaar Malls said in the statement.

“The bid has still not been accepted by the shareholders of Souq.com,” it said.

“If the bid is approved, the impact on Emaar Mall’s profit for the quarter in which the acquisition is completed and for the year 2017, will not be material,” it added.

Last week, it was reported that US online shopping giant Amazon had agreed to fully acquire Souq.com after previously backing away from a deal.

Read more: Amazon agrees to acquire UAE e-commerce site Souq.com – report

Bloomberg reported earlier this month that Amazon had restarted talks to acquire Souq for as much as $650m after discussions stalled in January due to a disagreement over the price.

Other bidders in the Goldman Sachs managed sales process, including mall operator Majid Al Futtaim all pulled out, the publication said.

Read: Amazon, Flipkart walk away from $1bn Souq.com deal

Souq was valued at $1bn in its last funding round in which it raised $275m from investors including Standard Chartered.

The company’s existing investors include Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd.

Souq currently offers 8.4 million products after recently expanding into books and groceries and operates directly in the UAE, Egypt, Saudi and Kuwait, with shipping also available to Oman, Bahrain and Qatar.

While Emaar Malls is seeking to acquire Souq, chairman of Emaar, Mohamed Alabbar, is also expected to soon launch noon.com– a $1bn rival platform backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund.

The site was slated to launch in January in the UAE with 20 million products. However, there has been no information on when it will go live.

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