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Etisalat Group announced that, further to the announcement on 18 November 2021, it has completed the acquisition of elGrocer DMCC.

Founded in 2015, elGrocer is a leading online marketplace for groceries operating in all seven Emirates of the UAE. It brings together major retailers and specialty stores on a single platform with more than 500 outlets and 120K products listed. In addition, elGrocer has strategic partnerships with major global and local FMCG companies for collaborations and innovative strategies to drive exposure of their brands.

The UAE is ranked as one of the highest countries globally for smart device penetration and rated as one of the most advanced countries for online shopping and eCommerce market in MENA and this acquisition will contribute to the growing digital economy in the country. The acquisition of elGrocer will complement Etisalat UAE’s existing marketplace services under the ‘Smiles’ brand, which includes online food delivery, lifestyle offers and the ability to earn and redeem points at more than 7,000 outlets across the UAE.

To celebrate this milestone, Smiles users can now enjoy a limited-time deal of 50% off (up to AED 50)  on online groceries with elGrocer. All UAE consumers can download Smiles app to get this special discount voucher and redeem it on transactions from any outlet on elGrocer.

Khaled ElKhouly, chief consumer officer of Etisalat UAE, said, “Following the successful launch of the Smiles food delivery platform at the beginning of 2021, the ability to offer our customers online grocery services presents an exciting opportunity to enhance our Smiles offering for UAE consumers and 2.7 million existing Smiles members. We strongly believe in bringing elGrocer on board, we will be able to empower our customers by providing more tailored and unique propositions, extending the possibility to earn and redeem Smiles points on online grocery transactions and offering exclusive discounts.”

Etisalat is currently leveraging its wide range of digital technologies and services and powering a great digital-first experience to encourage digital adoption by its customers. Its own digital transformation is enabling it to execute this strategy and is facilitating a paradigm shift to a new operating model that nurtures innovation and agility.

Meanwhile, Raed Hafez, CEO of elGrocer, said, “We are proud of what we have achieved so far with elGrocer in pioneering grocery consumer experiences and innovations. Now, we look forward to Smiles and elGrocer coming together to bring more access, value, and innovation to enhance UAE consumers’ daily lives. The power of the Smiles technology, customer base and currency, combined with elGrocer’s retail network, shopper expertise, and consumer services will bring delightful new benefits and experiences to the market.”

Nader Amiri, Founder and COO of elGrocer, said, “I’m very excited to start this new journey of leveraging Smiles and elGrocer strengths to offer new opportunities to UAE consumers and retail market. Consumer habits are changing very fast, and together we will empower consumer lives with delightful experiences and offer the market new unique services. We have already started providing rich offers exclusively to Etisalat & Smiles customers. We are also quickly expanding our current retail network of Supermarkets & Specialty stores across the Emirates.”

The acquisition value of elGrocer DMCC will not exceed AED 38 million (including up to AED30m for 100% of the shares and the AED equivalent of USD 2 million for the repayment of a SAFE note, representing the recently contributed capital by a 3rd party) The transaction is not associated to related parties and is paid by cash.

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