Souq.com, the region’s biggest online retailer, is reportedly planning to sell around a 30 percent stake that would give the company a valuation of at least $1.2 billion.
The Dubai-based company has appointed Goldman Sachs to find potential buyers for the share offering, Bloomberg reported last month citing people with knowledge of the matter. Representatives of Souq.com declined to comment.
Bloomberg said existing investors Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. were willing to consider selling part of their holdings in the transaction, while Souq.com may attract another business in the industry or a financial investor, and is willing to sell a larger stake at the appropriate price.
Souq.com was launched in 2006 by Ronaldo Mouchawar as an e-Bay style website linked to Maktoob, the Internet portal that was later bought by Yahoo for $165 million.
In its latest fundraising round held at the start of the year, Souq.com managed to raise $275 million from investors. The company has 3,000 employees and its website attracts 45 million visits per month and has localized operations in Egypt and across the members of the GCC.
According to the global consultancy AT Kearney, the value of the online retail market in the GCC is expected to hit $20 billion by 2020, up from $5.3 billion in 2015.