Yahoo Inc! has entered into a definitive agreement to Acquire Maktoob.com. The decision has been taken to reach out to the Arabic markets through Maktoob’s compelling local content, which today reaches one in three people online throughout the Arab world.
Maktoob.com, the largest Arab online community was founded in 2000 by Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury. It was launched as a free Arabic/English Web-based email service, and since then has grown to be the leading Arab online community in the region.
The agreement has been done to capitalize on the Internet market in the region. “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.
“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.”
Maktoob.com is accessed by users in countries that include UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
“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.
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.