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TMCNet:  MTN, Rocket Internet To Develop Online Businesses In The Middle East [Ventures Africa]

[December 20, 2013]

MTN, Rocket Internet To Develop Online Businesses In The Middle East [Ventures Africa]

(Ventures Africa Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) VENTURES AFRICA – Africa's largest mobile operator MTN Group, has partnered with Rocket Internet to propel its online retail expansion plans and other digital services in the Middle East.

The partnership will see MTN, which recently announced a similar partnership for Africa, develop internet businesses across the Middle East, riding on Rocket's expertise in building thriving global internet businesses.

Rocket already has a presence in the Middle Eastern and operates a number of online businesses including, Hellofood, Lamudi, Easytaxi and Namshi.

According to an official statement, MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa said the deal was key to the company's aim of diversifying and driving growth.

"[We] aim to accelerate and further develop the nascent e-commerce market in the Middle East region," he said.

MTN could invest up to £300million ($409million) over the next two to four years into the venture, according to the statement.

On his own part, co-founder of Rocket Internet, Oliver Samwer said he was confident that the partnership would accelerate the" online shift in the Middle East." The investment is however subject to regulatory approval, though expected to be finalised in the second quarter of 2014.

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