AMEinfo staff to reapply for jobs after buyout

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Staff at Dubai-based business websites AME Info and SME Info will begin re-interviewing for their jobs from Sunday as part of the their sale to rival media publisher Mediaquest, Arabian Business has learned.

Mediaquest, a media and entertainment company with offices in Dubai, Paris, Beirut, Algiers, Tunis and Riyadh and publishes magazines and websites such as Autocar Middle East, F1 Racing, Marie Claire Arabia, and Trends, confirmed on Wednesday it had bought the Dubai-based online business news websites AME Info and SME Info.

"The acquisition of both the AME Info and SME Info websites are in line with our growth strategy and commitment to strengthening the position of regional publications,” said Alexandre Hawari, co-CEO of Mediaquest, who signed the agreement.

The AME Info and SME Info websites will be re-designed and will re-launch in September 2013 and as part of the restructuring all staff have been told they will have to reapply for their existing jobs, a senior Mediaquest executive told Arabian Business.

“The thing is the whole acquisition pretty fast and this is one of the reasons it wasn’t clear to staff what was going on but we are definitely interviewing them starting Sunday,” said Ayman Haidar, managing director of Mediaquest.

“The first priority is for the staff of AME Info. We are making sure that we are interviewing the people that they have and I am sure they might be one or two that we might not be interviewing because we already have Mediaquest structures already there.

“We have to make sure we take the right people that fits within our strategy because we are on a much bigger scale and have a lot of operations already running and we already have some that work on AME Info internally,” he added.

AME Info and SME Info currently have more than 20 staff, while Mediaquest has 158 employees across its global network.

“We have done other acquisitions where we have taken a good number of people from the companies,” Haidar said. The company has previously taken over rival media outlets The Media Factory and AMD Mode.

Founded in 1993, AME Info and SME Info combined attract 2.4 million unique users monthly and supplies daily business news and press releases in both Arabic and English.

Duncan Painter, CEO of London-based media group Top Right Group, which previously owned AME Info and SME Info said: "The AME Info and SME Info websites are successful, well regarded brands with a loyal, daily following. This sale will enable us to invest back into growth initiatives as we continue to create a platform for growth, particularly internationally.”

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