Emaar Malls acquires 51% stake of online fashion retailer Namshi for $151M

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Global Fashion Group (GFG), an international online fashion destination, announced today a strategic partnership with Emaar Malls, the shopping malls and retail business majority-owned by property developer Emaar Properties, whose chairman is Mohamed Alabbar.

Under the partnership, Emaar Malls will acquire a 51 percent stake in Namshi, one of the leading online fashion retailers in the Middle East, for a consideration of $151 million including investment in the company for its future growth, with GFG retaining the remaining 49 percent.

This partnership will accelerate Namshi’s development in the region. Emaar Malls will support the company to access additional fashion brands, further develop its logistics infrastructure and expand its geographical footprint in adjacent countries.

Namshi will continue to benefit from GFG’s network, expertise in fashion ecommerce and shared resources, such as global brand acquisition and global IT development and innovation.

Alabbar said: “The acquisition of a majority stake in Namshi underlines our digital-driven strategy to leverage the growing ecommerce 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.”

Following the acquisition, Namshi plans to further expand its business and operations in the region. (Picture via Namshi)

Hosam Arab, MD of Namshi, said: “We are confident that this partnership will unlock further opportunities and help accelerate the development of Namshi for the benefit of our customers.”

Led by cofounders Hosam Arab, Faraz Khalid and Hisham Zarka, Namshi launched in 2012, and offers a range of over 50,000 products across more than 600 international and local fashion brands and its own private labels.

The company already serves over 750,000 customers across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

Last week, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) announced that Emaar’s chairman Mohamed Alabbar, acquired a large stake in the company, to create a leading VC investment firm in the MENA. Earlier in May, ecommerce and online marketplace website Jadopado has been acquired by a technology fund led by Alabbar.

Few days ago, The National reported that the long-awaited launch of Noon.com moved closer as Alabbar, Noon’s founder, broke his silence on the $1 billion ecommerce platform that was supposed to be ready by January this year. "I am pleased to confirm that Noon is on track to launch this year," said Alabbar in a statement. Noon.com, which was announced in November last year, is the brainchild of Alabbar and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

The series of Alabbar’s acquisitions and business partnership follow the major acquisition of Souq.com by Amazon that happened late March. Back then, Emaar Malls had announced that it had also submitted an $800 million bid for the online retailer. This bid was said to be “in line with the strategy to align commerce with physical shopping” according to a statement released by Emaar Malls.

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