Amazon walks away from Souq.com deal negotiations

19 January 2017

UAE-based online retailer could face competition from Saudi-backed Noon

US-based Amazon.com and India’s Flipkart Online Services have walked away from the negotiations to buy Dubai-based Souq.com, according to a report by news agency Bloomberg.

Souq.com is now understood to be seeking other potential investors, which include mall operator Majid Al-Futtaim. Souq.com had initially appointed the US’ Goldman Sachs to find buyers for 30 per cent of the company’s shares, prior to its decision to sell the company’s full shares.

Souq.com is understood to sell more than 1.5 million products online to customers in the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

It could face major competition from Noon, a $1bn e-commerce platform backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which has a 50 per cent stake in the company, and a group of UAE investors led by Mohamad al-Abbar, chairman of Emaar Properties.

Headquartered in Riyadh, Noon begins to operate in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, this month and the entire Middle East soon after.

The e-commerce platform plans to offer 20 million products ranging from electronics to fashion and books, among other.

Noon’s online operations will be supported by a 10 million-square-feet of warehousing capacity that would include a logistics centre in the UAE, same day delivery through Noon Transportation, an in-house express delivery service, and online payments using a secure gateway (NoonPay).

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