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Souq.com set to make announcement on Amazon.com bid

Middle Eastern online retailer Souq.com will make an announcement later on Tuesday about Amazon.com Inc’s bid to buy 100 percent of the company from its shareholders, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

One of the sources, declining to be identified ahead of the announcement, said the statement would say that Souq.com’s shareholders had accepted the bid.

Souq.com declined to comment. Amazon officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Dubai’s Emaar Malls, operator of some of the region’s most glitzy shopping malls, said on Monday it had made an $800 million offer for Souq.com. Sources said that bid was higher than Amazon’s offer.

Reuters reported last week that Amazon had agreed in principle to buy Souq.com, which was founded 12 years ago by Syrian-born entrepreneur Ronaldo Mouchawar.

Souq.com has raised $425 million since its founding in 2005, according to CrunchBase. It was reported to be valued at $1 billion at the time of its latest funding round last year, but sources said at the time the deal was worth less than that.

Amazon bid $580 million for Souq.com, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday. The Financial Times reported Amazon would pay between $650 and $750 million, quoting two sources familiar with the matter.

Emaar Malls’ bid had so far not been accepted by Souq.com shareholders, the Dubai-listed firm said on Monday.

Souq.com would have to break an exclusivity agreement with Amazon if it is to accept the Emaar Malls offer at this stage, a source said.

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