Emaar Malls lockhorn with Amazon to acquire Souq


The battle is on for the acquisition of Souq, a Dubai-based eCommerce company that was valued at USD1 billion.

Emaar Malls PSJC, a unit of Emaar Properties PSJC, Dubai’s largest real estate company said has been linked to a counter negotiation to acquire Souq.

Earlier this week, Amazon disclosed it proposed USD650 million for the acquisition of the Middle East online retailer.

Emaar Malls is said to bt offering about USD800 million with a USD500 million convertible to snatch the company from the American eCommerce giant that might rebrand Souq to its identity should its acquisition pull through.

Souq has raised funds over time from various investors which includes Tiger Global Management, Naspers Limited, International Finance Corporation and UK’s Standard Chartered Bank.

It is perhaps in the bid to cash out that led them to hire Goldman Sachs to look for buyers. Souq has since raised USD275 million and it is the largest tech company in the Middle East with over 645 million employees according to its profile.

The next couple of days and or weeks will determine who finally owns the company. Should Souq take the deal from Amazon, the Middle East might finally be having the American eCommerce giant taking the region by its jugular.

This is similar to what has happened in India where Amazon said it will dedicate about USD5 billion to fight Flipkart, a home grown eCommerce company that raised USD1 billion from Tencent Holdings.

Should Souq take Emaar’s deal, then Amazon’s transatlantic dream to enter the Middle East and the Far East might be a pipe dream. If we are to throw a wager, Souq might be going with Emaar for obvious reasons. Emaar Malls’ parent company is perhaps the most influential company in the Emirates, Souq might be more open to tying its future to a local company that it more or less its ‘Big Brother’