DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Saffar, a Middle East and North Africa (“MENA”)-focused financial services and investment group, has announced the sale of Zawya Limited, the leading MENA online business intelligence platform, to Thomson Reuters, the world’s foremost provider of information for businesses and professionals.
With the sale to Thomson Reuters, Saffar’s investment in Zawya becomes one of the most successful internet and media investments in the MENA region. Since Saffar’s acquisition of a majority stake in the company, Zawya has grown from a start-up to become the leading MENA business information platform, reflecting Saffar’s ability to identify compelling regional investment opportunities. Saffar created sustainable value in the business by expanding the business model, forming strategic partnerships and institutionalising the corporate structure.
Zawya is today a globally recognised Middle Eastern brand due to the business’ comprehensive content, innovative products and regional analysis. Zawya enables over 750,000 unique visitors per month to find and connect with the best business and investment opportunities in the region.
Yousef Al-Quraishi, Chairman of Saffar, said, “The scope of this sale and the quality of the parties involved underscores the value that can be created when institutional support, founding vision and strong management come together. The sale of Zawya to Thomson Reuters is a testament to the fact that Zawya has become an unsurpassed regional platform.”
Ihsan Jawad, Vice Chairman of Zawya, said, “As entrepreneurs, we are proud to have founded and built one of the leading internet companies in the Middle East. We are also pleased that our focus on quality from day one has made Zawya fit for a global player like Thomson Reuters.”
Arma Partners acted as exclusive financial adviser to Saffar, and SNR Denton and Maples & Calder acted as legal advisers to Saffar on the sale of Zawya.
Founded in 2001, Saffar encompasses investments in financial services and telecommunications across the MENA region. Investments include Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia, Kalaam Telecom and Saffar Capital Limited. Saffar Capital Limited is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority and is licensed to arrange credit or deals in investments, advise on financial products or credit and manage assets.