Two months after Amazon agreed to buy Souq.com, Dubai’s Emaar Malls is buying a 51% stake in e-commerce fashion website Namshi.com for $151 million.
It is buying the stake from Global Fashion Group (GFG), a startup set up by Rocket Internet, in which the German e-commerce investor still has a 20% stake.
Emaar will buy the stake in Namshi in an all-cash transaction, which is expected to close in three months, it said in a statement.
The deal is expected to provide much-needed support for Emaar Properties founder and chairman Dubai billionaire Mohamed Alabbar’s technology vehicle Noon.com.
Namshi’s co-founder Hosam Arab previously said that Amazon’s acquisition of Souq.com is expected to trigger consolidation in the sector.
Amazon comes into a market and quickly can dominate, he said, adding that in India, for example, it caused some companies to shut down or massively retrench.
This acquisition adds another dimension to the Souq-Amazon-Noon-JadoPado-Emaar saga.
Noon.com has seen a shake-up in recent weeks.
Omar Kassim, founder of JadoPado, resigned from his CTO role at Noon.com only weeks after the Alabbar-led venture acquired the online marketplace.
Kassim’s departure followed that of Noon’s erstwhile CEO Fodhil Benturquia and some other staff that had left the company.
Jadopado, an online marketplace, was acquired by Alabbar’s technology fund only a few weeks ago.
Various online sources earlier reported that the entire front end for Noon.com was to be replaced by JadoPado following the transaction.
The acquisition reportedly was made to shore up gaps in Noon.com’s development, which has resulted in a five-month delay from the originally announced date.
Alabbar recently said that his e-commerce platform Noon.com, which was originally expected to be launched in January this year, is now expected to start operations before the end of 2017.
Alabbar, who is also founder and chairman of Emaar Properties, unveiled plans in November 2016 to partner with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) to launch the online shopping platform, with an initial investment of $1 billion.
The site is anticipated to have 20 million products when it comes online this year, covering fashion, books, home and garden, electronics, sports and outdoor, health and beauty, personal care, toys, kids and baby products.
Noon.com was said to be launching in April this year, after missing its originally announced launch date of January 2017.
This coincided with additional drama in the e-commerce space after Emaar Malls, which like Alabbar Enterprises is headed by Mohamed Alabbar, also jumped into the fray to buy regional e-commerce giant Souq.com for $800 million.
However, Amazon won that battle, closing the deal for Souq.com for a deal reported to be worth around $650 million.
Alabbar has other interests in the e-commerce space.
Symphony Investments, an entity controlled by Alabbar, signed a pact last November to form a 130 million euro ($139 million) joint venture with Italian online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP).