MAKTOOB.COM PICKS UP MAJORITY STAKE IN POPULAR ARAB SPORTS WEBSITE

Published April 24th, 2006 - 12:49 GMT

Maktoob.com, the most popular Arab online destination with over 4 million registered users, today announced that it had acquired an 80 percent stake in sport4ever.com, a leading Saudi and Arabic sports portal.

In line with Maktoob.com's strategy to forge unique alliances with key online media organizations to broaden its reach to the Arab online community, the strategic partnership with sport4ever.com will deliver a more compelling sports experience to the sports lovers in the Arab world.

A top official of Maktoob.com (www.maktoob.com) pointed out that the acquisition was an important development that will further demonstrate its commitment to sports and to building the largest Arab online sports community. It will also add value traffic and page views to its growing Maktoob group sites.

Commenting on the acquisition, Maktoob.com CEO Samih Toukan said: "We're very pleased indeed to add sport4ever.com to our portfolio. The website is comprehensive in its coverage, and has a passionate following, and as such will complement our existing sports portal Arabsport.com superbly."

He added that the partnership between Maktoob.com and sport4ever.com would form an integral part of the company's long-term strategy to provide unparalleled sports content and applications to the Arab world, helping to differentiate its services from competitors and fulfill the growing needs of sports fans in the region."

Launched in the year 2000, Sport4ever.com is the definitive Arabic sports website in Saudi Arabia, providing a popular, up-to-date results service combined with topical news, product reviews and features, all dedicated to the regional and international sports events. In March Sport4ever.com reported 236,000 unique visitors and 5 million page views. In addition to Saudi Arabia the site gets 50% of its traffic from the GCC countries and the rest is from all over the Arab world.

Adil Malki, top official of Sport4ever said, "I am excited about this closer relationship with Maktoob.com. Sport4ever.com is committed to providing sports fans with the most in-depth, extensive and up-to-date reports on the field. We consider this partnership as a perfect opportunity to establish another way of contact with our viewers and assure them that we will always strive to meet their expectations"

About Maktoob Group:

Maktoob.com was founded in the year 2000 as the world’s first Arabic/English email service, in few years; Maktoob has grown to become a group of companies and websites. This network includes Maktoob.com the leading Arab portal with over 4 million registered users, cashU (www.cashu.com) the electronic card, Strategiy.com (www.strategiy.com) a leading business and marketing site, Souq.com (www.souq.com) auctions and marketplace, Bentelhalal (www.bentelhalal.com) the largest Arabic matrimonial site, ArabSport (www.arabsport.com) a leading Arab online sports community and AdabWaFan (www.adabwafan.com) the online store for Arabic Books and Music. In 2005, Abraaj Capital, a leading regional private equity firm, acquired a stake in Maktoob, giving Maktoob the resources to enhance its market share and accelerate its growth plans.

Maktoob's main mission is to maintain and grow its position as the largest Arab online community by constantly offering its users a unique experience and by providing them with new services and products. For more information about Maktoob, please visit www.maktoobgroup.com

About Sport4ever.com:

Sport4ever.com was launched in the year 2000 in Saudi Arabia as the first Arabic website specialized in sports, the website now attracts hundreds of thousands of users offering them the ability to submit sports news and discuss sports related issues. In March 2006 sport4ever.com recorded 236,000 unique visitors and 5 million page views.


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