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Amazon in talks to buy Souq.com

Amazon.com Inc is said to be in discussions with Souq.com over a $1 billion purchase of the Dubai-based online retailer.amazon

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the deal, said that although Souq.com had initially planned to sell a stake of at least 30 percent, Amazon is considering a bid for the entire site.

The deal would give the US-based e-commerce giant a footprint in the high growth Middle East market, Bloomberg reported.

No conclusive agreements have been made thus far.

A spokesman for Souq.com declined to comment, and a representative for Amazon didn’t respond to calls or email requests, Bloomberg added.

In February, Souq.com announced it had completed a funding round of more than AED1 billion ($275 million), the largest financing of an e-commerce business in the region.

In September, Souq.com appointed Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to find buyers for a 30 percent share of the company, it was reported. The company’s existing investors – Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. – were also said to be weighing selling their holdings.

Established in 2005, Souq.com sells more than 400,000 products online to customers in the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The company secured $275 million from in February, and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar said in an interview at the time that the company would be open to selling shares to the public in the future.

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