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Deals of the day: PwC acquires NSI; Yoox partners with Alabbar

* PwC acquisition will complement digital transformation capabilities and enhance its ability to deliver innovative solutions

* Yoox and Alabbar joined to form $139m luxury retail business in Middle East

* China’s HNA Group and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala join to invest in tourism, logistics and financial services

In a bright day of new business deals in the GCC region, leading professional services firm PwC, has announced that it has agreed to acquire Dubai-based technology consulting firm NSI.

PwC, which has a major presence in the region, said the acquisition will complement its digital transformation capabilities and enhance its ability to deliver innovative solutions across all channels, platforms and devices.

The acquisition further enhances PwC Middle East’s ability to deliver a suite of cross-industry, cloud-based front-office solutions to the marketplace, it added.

When asked, a spokesperson for the company told AMEinfo that it was not in a position to disclose the details of value of the deal and timeline.

“We will definitely issue a statement if and when there are further details to be shared,” Rasha Adi, Head of Public Relations and Corporate Communications at PwC Middle East, added.

Since 2010, NSI, headquartered in Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC) free zone, has helped organisations across the Middle East accelerate the adoption of cloud computing.

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Online fashion deal

In another development on Monday, Italian online fashion retailer Yoox Net-A-Porter Group (YNAP) and Dubai-based billionaire Mohamed Alabbar said they will form a $139 million luxury retail business in the Middle East.

The Arab world’s youthful population and improving Internet access – the UAE and Saudi Arabia, for example, have Smartphone penetration rates above 70 per cent – mean the region is well placed to capture the growing popularity of e-commerce.

YNAP said it will hold 60 percent of the joint venture while Symphony Investments, an entity controlled by Alabbar, will own the rest. (Read more on this here)

New investments

Also, earlier in the day, China’s HNA Group, owner of Hainan Airlines, and Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Development Co said they would invest together in tourism, logistics and financial services.

They will also look at areas including aerospace, advanced manufacturing, real estate and healthcare, they said in a joint statement. They provided no details.

HNA, a shipping and airlines conglomerate with more than $90 billion of assets, began a commercial relationship with Mubadala in July when Mubadala agreed to sell a majority stake in SR Technics, a civil aviation business, to HNA. Mubadala retained 20 per cent of SR Technics. (Read more on this here)

(With inputs from Reuters)