The first signs of consolidation are appearing in the crowded Egyptian IT market, with the announcement by local internet service provider (ISP) Linkdotnetthat it has acquired nine internet companies, including one other ISP. The acquisition, which was managed by the local EFG-Hermesand Cairo-based Fleming CIIC, puts the value of Linkdotnet at around $80 million.
'Our aim is to shift to offering a more useful business structure to our services,' says the chief executive officer of Linkdotnet, Khaled Bishara. 'There is no reason why we cannot grow in this market - Egypt has some 60 million people - but until now there has not been much quality of service. If we can provide one reliable, solid business infrastructure we should get more customers. Having set up in Jordan, we are also looking at other regional markets.'
The companies acquired by Linkdotnet are: Careermideast.com, an electronic recruitment site; Egyptian portals Masrawy.com and Arabfinance.com; online shopping website Nilemart.com; real estate agency E-dar.com; gaming website El3ab.com; music site Mazika.com; Otlob.com, an ordering and delivery service; and the ISP, Internet Egypt.
A subsidiary of Egypt's Orascom Telecom, Linkdotnet intends to transfer services provided by the nine consolidated companies to other internet projects, including MSN Arabia. The first international Arabic portal to be set up in the Middle East, Dubai-based MSN Arabia is a joint venture between Linkdotnet and Microsoft of the US.