E-commerce giant invests another $1b in Lazada group
SHANGHAI—Jack Ma has a big reputation in China. Now, he aims to make sure Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has a big presence in Southeast Asia.
The founder of the e-commerce giant has made no secret of his plans to turn it into a truly global business. And the pieces behind that dream are starting to fall in place.
Indeed, Alibaba illustrated its ambitions by investing another $1 billion to raise its stake in online mall Lazada Group SA to 83 percent.
This made sure Ma’s online behemoth secured control of a fast-growing company at the vanguard of its Southeast Asian expansion plans.
Alibaba is buying out most of the backers in a deal which values the Singapore-based startup at $3.15 billion.
The management team and Temasek Holdings Pte are the only remaining investors left after Rocket Internet SE and Investment AB Kinnevik sold their shares last week.
Previously disclosed backers included supermarket chain Tesco Plc, which is based in the United Kingdom.
Last year, Alibaba took a sizeable stake in Lazada from Rocket in a $1 billion deal — its largest overseas move to date.
The company was started by Maximilian Bittner, who became chief executive officer, in 2012. But it is now pivotal to expanding Alibaba’s retailer’s foray abroad.
Lazada’s home turf is shaping up to be the next battleground for Ma’s group and main Chinese rival JD.com Inc and global giant Amazon.com