Amazon bids for Souq.com for reported half a billion
Amazon.com Inc has agreed in principle to buy UAE-based online retailer Souq.com, one of the best-known names in the Middle East's online shopping market, for half a billion dollars, according to reports by Reuters.
Souq.com, which sells consumer electronics, fashion, household items and other goods, lays claim on its website to being the largest e-commerce site in the Arab world, with operations across 22 countries in the MENA region.
Souq.com offers Amazon MENA-centric e-commerce logistics expertise and a foothold in a region where online retail is expanding quickly thanks to a young and tech-savvy population. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among the top markets worldwide for mobile phone penetration.
Amazon has traditionally relied on express couriers in the region for its last mile fulfilment, whereas Souq.com has upgraded its in-house last mile operations to offer same day delivery in the United Arab Emirates. The acquisition will therefore enable Amazon to significantly upscale its e-com logistics in the region.
Amazon declined to comment, and a spokesperson for Souq.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment from LogisticsMiddleEast.com.
Sources did not disclose the price of the deal, but it was reported to be valued at US $1 billion at the time of its latest funding round last year, a valuation that Amazon said was too high when buyout talks stalled last year.