Souq.com, an 11-year-old e-commerce marketplace based in the Middle East, is considering a $1 billion buyout offer from Amazon.com, reports Bloomberg News, citing people familiar with the matter.
An acquisition of Souq.com, with nearly two million products for sale on the marketplace across categories such as books, electronics, toys and home products, would supercharge Amazon’s expansion in the Middle East. Bloomberg notes that Souq originally intended to sell a 30 percent stake, but Amazon is interested in acquiring the entire company.
Amazon and Souq did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment. Souq is backed by Tiger Global Management and Naspers Ltd.
“We connect people and products – opening up a world of possibility,” Souq.com writes on its Web site. “From bracelets and backpacks to tablets and toy cars – we give you access to everything you need and want. Our range is unparalleled, and our prices unbeatable.”
Souq is facing new competition from a Saudi Arabia-backed company by the name of Noon, which earlier this month raised $1 billion. It plans to launch in January with 20 million products. In an interview earlier this month, Souq co-founder Ronaldo Mouchawar said he was not worried about his new e-commerce rival, adding that Souq is growing by more than 30 percent year-over-year.
A $1 billion acquisition of Souq.com would be one of the largest deals for Amazon, which historically has spurned large acquisitions in favor of organic growth.