Souq.com (Souq), which started as an auction site and eventually changed into an e-commerce portal, had tasted reasonable success in the MENA region. In 2016, it decided to collaborate with a potential buyer to realize its growth potential in the region. After a futile attempt to acquire Souq in 2016, multinational e-commerce company Amazon.com, Inc. (Amazon) again placed a bid for US$650 million in 2017. Emaar Properties PJSC (Emaar) also placed a counter bid for US$800 million, challenging Amazon. Both Amazon and Emaar had their respective advantages and challenges they would have to face if they succeeded in acquiring Souq. While some analysts suggested that Amazon was a better fit for Souq considering its global presence and core competency in technology infrastructure and logistics, others preferred Emaar in view of its local advantages like local government support and funding. Souq’s co-founder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar (Mouchawar) would have to quickly decide on the company’s next course of action
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
Understand the issues and challenges in managing the growth of an enterprise in the nascent e-commerce market in the MENA region
Analyze how Ronaldo Mouchawar built Souq from the ground up into a leading e-commerce company.
Understand the issues related to harvesting the venture.
Evaluate the competing bids from Amazon and Emaar.
Understand the implications for the combined entity going forward.