Amazon.com Inc. is in talks to acquire Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com FZ for about $1 billion in a deal that will give the e-commerce giant a footprint in the high-growth Middle East market, according to people familiar with the matter.
Amazon is one of the world’s largest retail destinations, but it doesn’t have much traction in the Middle East. That’s why rumors that it’s looking to buy Souq.com, the Amazon of the Middle East, make so much sense. Bloomberg is reporting that Jeff Bezos and crew might spend up to $1 billion on the site to gain a foothold across Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Neither party is talking about the deal, but if it’s getting reported in an august financial publication like Bloomberg then it must be serious.
Souq.com appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find buyers for a share of the company, people familiar with the matter said in September. The company’s existing investors — Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. — were also weighing selling their holdings, the people had said.
Souq.com sells more than 1.5 million products online to customers in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, according to its website. The company secured $275 million from investors after Tiger Global and Naspers, among others, boosted their investments in February. Chief Executive Officer Ronaldo Mouchawar said in an interview at the time that the company would be open to selling shares to the public in the future.