Zawya, one of Middle East’s leading news and information service provider, has been bought out by Thomson Reuters Corporation, a global news wire service and information provider.
Zawya was privately held by the Dubai-based investment group Saffar holdings.
Financial terms of the transaction are yet to be disclosed. Zawya’s sale has been estimated at somewhere in the range of $40 million, down from $80 million when it was almost purchased in 2008, just before the global financial crisis.
Apart from providing news, Zawya also had company and project information and research tools for businesses. It also has a partnership with Dow Jones Newswires to distribute the news agency’s content.
Basil Moftah, Thomson Reuters managing director for the Middle East, said there were no plans to end the Zawya-Dow Jones arrangement. He noted that Thomson Reuters had a worldwide agreement to distribute Dow Jones news through its terminals.
Thomson Reuters, which provides news and information to financial, legal, accounting and healthcare professionals, has about 600 employees in the Middle East and North Africa. Zawya employs 200 people, mainly in Dubai and Beirut.
Commenting on the acquisition, Basil Moftah, Managing Director for the Middle East, Africa and Russia Thomson Reuters, said:
“Zawya has built a strong brand and impressive offering in MENA, and this acquisition builds on our commitment to this region which dates back to 1856 starting with news and expanding to comprehensive news and data coverage. We offer deep and broad coverage of MENA markets across a wide spectrum of content sets and data types. By joining forces, Thomson Reuters, Zawya‘s clients, and the market will benefit from a unique offering. This synergy will result in an improved and diversified line of services across the MENA markets for a broader group of users.”
Russell Haworth, Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters added:
“This investment confirms Thomson Reuters role as a key contributor to the growth of local markets through enhancing transparency, offering quality content, helping companies function better, and assisting professionals to make informed business decisions across the MENA markets. By completing this acquisition, a wider group of users such as small and medium sized enterprises (SME), governments, family offices and financial institutions in and outside of the MENA region will have access to a single source of information providing rich content, research tools, deep subject matter expertise, and proprietary data.”