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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Amazon acquires souq.com

Amazon announced yesterday it has reached an agreement to acquire regional e-commerce platform Souq, fending off last-minute rival bid. Subject to closing conditions, the transaction should be executed this year. Goldman Sachs advised on the transaction and although values and terms were not disclosed, a source described it as “the biggest-ever technology M&A transaction in the Arab world.” A document noted that Amazon’s entry into "attractive Middle East countries with significant growth potential given e-commerce only represents (roughly) 2% of retail sales.”

Souq probably wasn’t a unicorn after all, late stage investors may have taken a haircut: With Amazon reportedly thwarting a last-minute bid by Mohamed Alabbar’s Emaar Malls, sources tell Reuters Amazon still paid less than Emaar’s bid, keeping Souq’s valuation below the USD 1 bn mark it reportedly hit during its last equity raising last year.

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