Wed 15-06-2005 05:42 AM

Abraaj Capital acquires stake in Maktoob.com

Abraaj Capital acquires stake in Maktoob.com Dubai, 14 June, 05 (WAM) - Abraaj Capital and Maktoob.com have announced that the Dubai-based private equity house has taken a 40 per cent stake in the Arab web portal.

The acquisition was made through the $116 million Abraaj Buyout Fund, which is now fully invested.

Commenting on the deal, Humayun Shahryar, Executive Director of Abraaj Capital, said: "Maktoob.com is a visionary web community: a portal to a dedicated and comprehensive Arabic online service that is already widely successful, and with the collective input of the management and the new board, will be able to realise its goal of becoming the leading online community and e-commerce portal of the Arab world." The rising popularity of Maktoob among Arabic speakers comes on the backdrop of some solid growth in the numbers of Internet users across the Arab League member states. According to Madar Research, the total number of Internet users among the 22 Arab countries rose five fold between 2000 and 2005 to around 17 million. The average penetration, however, still remains low at between seven and eight percent and varies between the high 20s in some of the Gulf countries and less than one per cent in a number of Arab African states.

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