Alibaba to Buy Stake in Sun Art Retail for US$2.88 Billion -- Update

By Chester Yung Features Dow Jones Newswires

Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) has agreed to buy a stake in Chinese hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. (6808.HK) for US$2.88 billion.

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Alibaba has also formed a retail alliance with Auchan Retail S.A. and Ruentex Group to explore retail opportunities in China's food retail sector, the companies said in a joint statement issued late Sunday.

As part of the deal, Alibaba will buy 36% in Sun Art Retail at a price of HK$6.5 per share. Sun Art Retail operates 446 hypermarkets in China under the Auchan and RT-Mart banners. The offer price represents a 24% discount to Sun Art Retail's last closing price of HK$8.60 before trading was halted on Nov. 13., according to the statement filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Auchan will boost its stake in Sun Art Retail to 36% after the deal.

"The alliance reflects Alibaba's 'New Retail' vision to leverage its internet-based approach and new technology, while working closely with retailer partners to provide a seamless online and offline experience to consumers in China," the joint statement said.

Write to Chester Yung at chester.yung@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 19, 2017 22:29 ET (03:29 GMT)