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Yahoo! acquires

Yahoo! has acquired Maktoob Group, the Arab world's largest online portal for an undisclosed amount...

August 25, 2009 10:26 by

Yahoo! has acquired, the Arab world’s largest online portal, for an undisclosed amount, the companies revealed in a press conference in Dubai on Tuesday. is part of Jordan-based Maktoob Group.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2009. The companies have allegedly been in talks for over two years.

The deal marks Yahoo!’s first foray into the region. The global internet giant already boasts over 20 million users in the Middle East; however, it hopes to penetrate the market further with an Arabic service.

Samih Toukan, co-founder of Maktoob, told reporters that five components of, including the company’s online auction and game sites, will not be part of the buyout deal. operates a number of online brands, including Maktoob Business, and has over 16 million users.

Yahoo!’s acquisition is Maktoob Group’s second buyout deal in four years. In 2005, private equity firm Abraaj Capital bought a 40 percent share in the online company for $5.2 million. It later sold its stake to Tiger Global Management in 2007 for an internal rate of return of 75 percent.

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