x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

AMEinfo may soon be for sale

AMEinfo's advertising-driven business no longer fits in with owner EMAP's subscription-based model.

AMEinfo, one of the UAE's oldest online media brands, may soon be for sale, the chief executive of its parent company says. Lara Boro, the chief executive of EMAP Middle East, which owns AMEinfo and the business news publication MEED, said the company was reviewing strategic options for AMEinfo with the potential of a sale, as the portal's advertising-driven business no longer fitted EMAP's subscription-based model.

"Over 75 per cent of our revenue comes from the MEED brand and those are subscription businesses, high-value information business, businesses that are starting to provide what we call 'actionable intelligence', and top-level events that are for people who are planning the next few years in their industry," Ms Boro said. "It's all about future-looking, high-value information, and AMEinfo doesn't fit into that model. It's an advertising-driven, volume game."

AMEinfo, a free-to-access site, was founded in 1993 and bought by the London-based EMAP in 2006 as part of its efforts to expand in the Middle East. MEED was founded in 1957, and has a print magazine, website, conference series and research services available through subscription. EMAP is co-owned by the private equity group Apax Partners and Guardian Media Group, the publisher of the Guardian newspaper. Since EMAP bought AMEinfo, it has continued to invest in the digital property, hiring the British digital branding firm Rufus Leonard to "refresh" of its brand last year, and adding an array of new features including a section on white papers and improved search function.