DUBAI – Dubai’s Emaar is weighing options to sell fashion e-commerce business Namshi that may include a listing abroad via a SPAC, three sources familiar with the matter said.
An outright sale of Namshi may generate $600 million to $700 million in proceeds, while a listing through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) could be more lucrative, said one of the sources.
Emaar, which declined to comment, has approached some banks for potential advice on the deal, the sources said.
Emaar Malls, the retail arm of Dubai’s biggest developer, Emaar Properties, bought a 51% stake in Namshi from Global Fashion Group for $151 million in 2017 shortly after Amazon.com bought Dubai-based e-commerce website Souq.com.
It bought the remaining 49% in 2019 for about $130 million.
Namshi posted revenues of 685 million dirhams ($187 million) in the first half of the year, up from 664 million dirhams in the same period one year earlier.
A SPAC – a popular dealmaking vehicle – raises money to acquire a private firm with the purpose of taking it public, allowing the target to list more quickly on share markets than via a traditional initial public offering.
SPACs are not permitted on UAE bourses, encouraging companies to seek out alternative venues.
Abu Dhabi-based music streaming app Anghami, the Middle East’s rival to Spotify, said in March it would become the first Arab tech company to list on the Nasdaq after agreeing to merge with a SPAC.