Yahoo! acquires Maktoob.com
Dubai, August 25, 2009
Yahoo! today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Maktoob.com, a leading online community in the Arab world.
'This acquisition will accelerate Yahoo!’s strategy of expanding in high-growth emerging markets where we believe Yahoo! has unparalleled opportunity to become the destination of choice for consumers,” said Yahoo! chief executive officer Carol Bartz.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
'Access to information and communications tools can positively impact people’s lives in many ways, and with the acquisition of Maktoob.com and our investment in the region, the Arab world will soon get a Yahoo! experience in Arabic with relevant local language content, programming and services,” said Bartz.
“Yahoo! and Maktoob are natural partners and this combination should help energize the Internet market in the region as a whole. We are excited about Yahoo! building a stronger presence in the Middle East and bringing their compelling suite of services to Arab users in Arabic,' said Samih Toukan, founder of Maktoob.
"Internet users in the Arab world will have access to Yahoo!'s vast content portfolio, as well as world-class communications products, which will be available in Arabic for the first time. In addition, advertisers will be able to leverage the vast reach of the newly combined audiences to effectively market to consumers across the region," said Ahmed Nassef, general manager of Maktoob.com.
Maktoob.com was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury as the world’s first free Arabic/English Web-based email service, and since then has grown to be the leading Arab online community in the region, said a statement.
“Yahoo is acquiring Maktoob.com for the strong brand and audience it has built over the last nine years and the passionate team they have assembled, which we believe is the strongest in the region,” said Keith Nilsson, senior vice president, emerging markets, Yahoo! “We see great growth potential in both audience and advertising in the Arab world and combining with Maktoob.com will allow us to quickly build our presence there with high quality products. This is a big win for publishers, advertisers, and consumers in the region.”
Following the acquisition, Maktoob.com will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yahoo!. Ahmed Nassef, the current General Manager of Maktoob.com, will continue to lead the Maktoob.com teams and will report to Keith Nilsson. It is expected that the transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Upon completion of the deal, the remaining Maktoob Group companies – including Souq.com, cashU.com, Araby.com, and Tahadi.com – will operate under a new entity called Jabbar Internet Group, managed by Samih Toukan. Yahoo! and Jabbar Internet Group will continue to have a strong commercial relationship going forward, which will include the promotion of Jabbar companies on the Maktoob.com portal. – TradeArabia News Service