American Shipper

Alibaba takes $2.9b stake in Sun Art

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group will acquire a 36.16 percent stake in Chinese hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group from Ruentex Group, according to a joint statement from the companies.

   Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest $22.4 billion Hong Kong (U.S. $2.9 billion) to obtain a 36.16 percent stake in Chinese hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. by acquiring shares from Ruentex Group.
   Auchan Retail S.A. is also increasing its stake in Sun Art.
   Consequently, in addition to Alibaba gaining a 36.16 percent stake, the transaction will result in Auchan Retail having a 36.18 percent stake and Ruentex having a 4.67 percent stake, the companies jointly revealed Monday.
   The alliance between Alibaba, Auchan Retail and Ruentex will enable Sun Art’s activities to benefit from Alibaba’s digital ecosystem, they said, noting how the partnership will digitize and introduce new retail solutions at Sun Art stores, including online and offline integration together with modern fulfillment and personalized customer experience.
   Currently, Sun Art operates 446 hypermarkets as large as 17,000 square meters across 29 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China under the RT-Mart and Auchan banners. Sun Art also operates superstores and unmanned stores under the Auchan Minute brand.
   “Physical stores serve an indispensable role during the consumer journey, and should be enhanced through data-driven technology and personalized services in the digital economy,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said. “By fully integrating online and physical channels together with our partners, we look forward to delivering an original and delightful shopping experience to Chinese consumers.”