Alibaba is continuing its expansion into offline retail after the Chinese e-commerce giant bought up more than one-third of one of Chinese most prolific operators of hypermarket stores.
The firm announced today it has spent HK$22.4 billion (around US$2.88 billion) to acquire of 36.16 percent in Sun Art Retail Group, a Hong Kong-listed business that operates 446 hypermarkets across 224 cities in mainland China.
The deal makes Alibaba the second largest shareholder in the business, which has a market cap of over US$10 billion. Ruentex, the shareholder that sold to Alibaba, will retain a 4.67 share while French retailer Auchan Retail owns a dominant 36.18 percent.
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