Emaar Malls has acquired a majority stake in Namshi (the online fashion retailer based in Dubai) for $151 million in an all-cash transaction. Namshi has been part of Global Fashion Group (GFG) which is owned by Rocket Internet whose other e-commerce companies include Lamoda, Zalora, Dafiti and Jabong.
Mohammed Alabbar, the chairman of Emaar Malls and Emaar Properties, also owns the ecommerce website Noon.com, which is yet to launch in the market. According to Reuters, this deal with Namshi gives much needed support to Noon.com after Emaar Malls placed a counter bid for Amazon’s acquisition of Souq in March.
As competition for technology heats-up in the Middle East, this is the retail giant’s second acquisition in the region within a month. This comes hot on the tails of the company acquiring JadoPado, the electronics ecommerce marketplace, in May for an undisclosed amount plus a stake in Aramex, a logistics services company based in Dubai, back in 2016.
Mohammed Alabbar commented on the development saying “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.”
“Namshi offers a perfect fit for Emaar Malls in accelerating its focus on multi-channel retailing, and creating long-term value for its stakeholders.”
Five year old Namshi, co-founded by Hosam Arab, Faraz Khalid and Hisham Zarka, offers more than 50,000 fashion products and accessories with over 600 local and international fashion brands. It serves customers across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman & Bahrain. The company recorded an annual profit of AED555 million in UAE ($151 million) for the year 2016, achieving a full year of profitability and positive cash flow.
As part of the deal, Emaar Malls will support the company in developing Namshi’s logistics infrastructure, hence gaining them access to additional fashion brands and expand its geographical footprint. Meanwhile, Global Fashion Group will continue to benefit Namshi through its extensive network, expertise and resources in fashion and e-commerce.
Hosam Arab, Managing Director of Namshi, said: “We are very excited to welcome Emaar Malls as our majority shareholder. We are confident that this partnership will unlock further opportunities and help accelerate the development of Namshi for the benefit of our customers. We would like to congratulate and thank our team for their tireless efforts in making Namshi the Middle East’s premier fashion ecommerce destination and we look forward to continuing this journey together with Emaar Malls and GFG.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Quest’s Head of Retail, Olivia Roberts, wishes good luck to Mohammed Alabbar on another great acquisition to add to his growing portfolio of e-commerce platforms. She adds that “Namshi has gone from strength to strength in the past 3 years in particular since I have been in the region. The brand selection in terms of high street offering is market leading and it now are embodied as a true online high street fashion e-tailer and are major player with significant scale in this space. We are also now seeing lots of other online retailers upping their game and coming to compete with the likes of Namshi who have got it so right, such as www.isawitfirst.com and a new player to the region www.elabelz.com who are also offering high street fashion online. I am keen to see what happens next and how competitive this space becomes throughout 2017.”
Image Courtesy: Namshi.com