Dubai: Emaar Malls, the shopping malls and retail business majority-owned by property developer Emaar Properties, said on Wednesday it will acquire a 51 per cent stake in online fashion retailer Namshi, in an all-cash transaction.
The move sees Emaar add another eCommerce site to its portfolio, as it seeks to prop up its struggling Noon platform.
Germany’s Rocket Internet, a start-up incubator, sold its stake in Namshi for $151 million (Dh554 million).
Towards the end of March this year, Emaar made a bid of $800 million for Souq, the largest regional eCommerce player, only to lose out to Amazon.
Since then, the UAE’s online retail landscape has been in a state of flux, with Emaar attempting to compensate for the missed opportunity with a series of acquisitions.
On May 1, Emaar’s founder and chairman, Mohammad Alabbar, purchased Jado Pado, another online retailer, for an undisclosed amount.
This is in addition to the stake in Aramex, a regional logistics company, that he already owns, and a 40 per cent stake in a $145 million joint venture with Yoox Net-a-Porter (YNAP).
“The acquisition of a majority stake in Namshi underlines our digital-driven strategy to leverage the growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region,” Alabbar said in a statement. “Namshi offers a perfect fit for Emaar Malls in accelerating its focus on multichannel retailing, and creating long-term value for its stakeholders,” he added.
As part of this transaction, both partners have agreed on developing jointly the company until a possible listing or full transfer of ownership, Emaar Malls stated, adding that the closing of the transaction is expected to take place within three months.