By Sarah Townsend
Internet retailer said to be considering 30% stake as part of Middle East expansion
Amazon is reportedly looking to buy a minimum 30 percent stake in Dubai-based e-commerce website Souq.com.
The bid is part of Amazon’s strategy to expand in the Middle East – a region in which it does not currently operate – sources reportedly told Bloomberg.
The holding could put Souq.com’s value at upwards of $1.2 billion, the sources said.
They said Souq.com appointed Goldman Sachs to appoint a buyer for the stake sale.
Existing investors Tiger Global Management and South Africa-based Naspers were said to be open to selling part of their holdings – although Tiger Global reportedly declined to comment and a spokeswoman for Naspers refused to confirm or deny involvement any deal.
The stake sale is reportedly also drawing interest from private equity firms and family-owned companies in the Middle East seeking to expand into online retail.
However, no final decisions have been made and the company has yet to agree a deal with any of the parties, Bloomberg reported.
Arabian Business has contacted both Souq.com and Amazon for comment.
The e-commerce sector has seen rising demand in the Gulf in recent months, with Dubai-based businessman Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, announcing $1 billion plans to launch a string of major digital and e-commerce ventures in the UAE shortly after he snapped up Aramex founder Fadi Ghandour’s stake in the firm in June.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.