Dubai – Amazon completed on Tuesday its acquisition of Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retailer.
A joint statement revealed that the agreement brings Amazon into a fast-growing market as it expands into a wide range of services. The deal’s specific value was not announced in the statement, but it is estimated between $650 million and one billion.
Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said: “Amazon’s entry into the region reflects the visionary foresight of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, prime minister and ruler of Dubai, who launched Dubai Internet City in 1999 and adopted the e-commerce and online business legislation of 2002.”
Amazon Senior Vice President Russ Grandinetti said that “both companies share the same DNA”.
He added: “We’re both driven by customers, invention and long-term thinking. We’re looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources.”
Souq.com Chief Executive and Co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar called the agreement “a critical next step in growing our e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region.”
“By becoming part of the Amazon family, we’ll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon’s great track record of empowering sellers,” he added.
Dubai-based Emaar Malls confirmed offering $800 million to acquire the site.
Souq.com, described as the Amazon of the Middle East, announced in February 2005 that it secured $273 million in funding from international investors to support its growth.
Amazon’s retail operations took in $26 billion in North America and $14 billion in the rest of the world in the last quarter of 2016.