Retail

Amazon Restarts Talks With Souq.com About Acquisition

eCommerce giant Amazon is reportedly back in acquisition discussions with Souq.com, the Middle Eastern online retailer.

According to a report, sources told Bloomberg discussions between the two reignited over the past few weeks. In January Amazon and Flipkart Online Services reportedly gave up on a deal to buy Souq.com for $1 billion. The report noted Souq.com sells greater than 1. 5 million products online.

Bloomberg reported in November that talks between Amazon and Souq.com were focused on Amazon paying around $1 billion to gain access to a high-growth market in the Middle East. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg said Amazon is mulling making an offer for all of Souq.com, which originally was looking to sell around 30 percent of the company. The two sides have not reached a final agreement, and talks could still fall apart, Bloomberg cautioned.

In September, Souq.com tapped Goldman Sachs to find buyers for a stake in the company. The website operator, which sells greater than 1.5 million products online, counts Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. as investors. Both were mulling selling their stakes, Bloomberg reported. In March, Souq.com raised $275 million in a round of funding in what the Middle Eastern eCommerce retailer said was the region’s largest single round of funding ever.

Cofounder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar explained in an interview with PYMNTS back then that the finances would accelerate the site’s growth, which has already been running at a torrid pace, thanks to technological infrastructure improvements across the Middle East.

“Further growth is inherent from being in a market with the highest mobile penetration in the world and continued adoption of mobile commerce by our customers,” Mouchawar said. “Souq.com is constantly enhancing its customer experience, for both buyers and sellers. SMEs in particular are true growth drivers in our economy, and our aim is to empower merchants to reap the benefits of eCommerce and further drive growth via mobile. Capitalizing on the step-change in consumer behavior and business benefit towards mobile commerce, Souq.com will continue to lead the eCommerce industry in the region.”

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