Saudi healthcare group buys online retailer Mumzworld

Transaction will give online retailer of mother and child products access to a large pool of capital to supercharge its growth

Saudi healthcare and consumer goods conglomerate Tamer Group is acquiring the Middle East's biggest online retailer of mother and child products, Mumzworld, amid a regional boom in e-commerce.

Mumzworld signed a sales and purchase agreement with the Jeddah-based group for a majority stake in the company, it said on Monday.

The companies did not disclose the value of the deal.

"We are better positioned than ever to accelerate growth, drive wider geographic expansion and continue to build a tech footprint serving customers better than ever," said Mona Ataya, chief executive of Mumzworld.

"We will continue to own the supply chain for mother and child."

The Covid-19 pandemic has hastened a consumer shift to online shopping in the Middle East amid movement restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, pushing e-retailers to expand further.

Mumzworld said the regional mother, baby and child products market is worth more than $10 billion, with the online segment growing by about 39 per cent annually. However, online penetration remains below 10 per cent.

The transaction will give Mumzworld access to a large, committed pool of capital that will allow the business to "supercharge" its growth.

The deal will also allow Mumzworld to continue to grow in key regional markets, expand its digital footprint and gain access to Tamer Group's strong distribution network, it said.

While Mumzworld will retain its full management team and its branding, the companies' combined platform has scope for "enormous synergies" in procurement, logistics and infrastructure, it said.

Tamer Group includes consumer and nutrition divisions, as well as logistics services. It had an annual turnover of 9.2bn Saudi riyals ($2.5bn).

"We believe that e-commerce is the future for the GCC," said group chairman Ayman Tamer.

"As a major player in the FMCG space, e-commerce is no longer an option, but a necessity."

Mumzworld was founded in 2011 by Ms Ataya and chief commercial officer Leena Khalil, who will continue to drive the business, be part of the board and "remain material shareholders", the company said.

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