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Dubai e-retailer Souq.com may sell a stake and top $1 billion in valuation

September 8, 2016 06:00 AM
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(Bloomberg)—Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com, known as the Amazon of the Middle East, is planning to sell a stake of about 30% that would give the company a value of at least $1.2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Souq.com appointed advisers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find buyers for the stake, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Existing investors Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. are open to selling part of their holdings in the transaction, the people said. The company may attract another business in the industry or a financial investor, and is willing to sell a larger stake at the right price, one of the people said.

Representatives for Goldman Sachs and Tiger Global declined to comment. A representative for Souq.com, No. 308 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Global 1000, didn’t have an immediate comment. Naspers didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.

The company, which has a similar business model to Amazon.com Inc.,No. 1 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, secured $275 million from investors in its latest fundraising round in February. Tiger Global and Naspers boosted their investments during the funding, while other investors like Standard Chartered Plc, the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., and Baillie Gifford & Co. also participated in the funding.

CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar said at the time that the company would be open to selling shares to the public in the future. Established in 2005, Souq.com sells more than 400,000 products online to customers in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

 

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