Chinese tech giant Alibaba has acquired a controlling stake in Southeast Asian e-commerce site Lazada. The deal is said to be worth some US$1 billion (about RM3.9 billion); half of which was used to purchase shares from existing shareholders. The deal also included US$500 million (about RM1.9 billion) in newly issued equity capital in Lazada.
Alibaba is expected to use Lazada’s platform to assist its own Chinese vendors reach markets in countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Michael Evans, President of Alibaba, said, “With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China, a proven management team and a solid foundation for future growth in one of the most promising regions for e-commerce globally.
“This investment is consistent with our strategy of connecting brands, distributors and consumers wherever they are and support our ecosystem expansion in South-east Asia to better serve our customers.”
Lazada was founded by German company Rocket Internet and is currently based in Singapore. However, it is unknown if Rocket Internet has retained some equity in the company or if it has completely divested its interests.
[Source: Channel News Asia]