Alibaba Ups Lazada Stake to 83%, Cites Confidence in SE Asia

Alibaba Ups Lazada Stake to 83%, Cites Confidence in SE Asia

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding is investing an additional US$1billion (34 billion baht) in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group, boosting its stake by almost a third to 83% and amplifying its focus on the region.

The investment will raise Alibaba's holding in Lazada to 83 percent from 51 percent and take its total outlay on the company so far to more than $2 billion.

Alibaba took control of Lazada previous year from Rocket in a $1 billion deal - its largest overseas move to date.

Alibaba's investment in and collaboration with Lazada have been an important part in expanding Alibaba's global footprint, providing it unrivaled access to consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Germany's Rocket Internet (Swiss: OXRKET.SW - news) and Sweden's Kinnevik (LSE: 0RGZ.L - news) confirmed in separate statements that they were among the selling shareholders. "It also reflects that Alibaba continues to be extremely positive about this region, doubling down on Southeast Asia and seeing the potential", Lazada CEO Max Bittner told TechCrunch in an interview. With only 3% of the region's total retail sales conducted online, Southeast Asia is expected to offer tremendous growth potential. Southeast Asia remains a hotspot for growth.

Analysts Ratings on: General Electric Company (GE)
Henderson Gp Pcl has invested 0.3% of its portfolio in General Electric Company (NYSE:GE). 238,610 are owned by Narwhal Capital. Lombardia Capital Partners Llc holds 1.85% of its portfolio in Portland General Electric Company for 417,166 shares.

The announcement by Alibaba on Wednesday of the investment comes as its rivals like Chinese e-commerce firm JD Inc are expanding operations in Southeast Asia and amid media reports that Amazon is eyeing an entry into the region of 600 million people where only a fraction of total retail sales are now conducted online.

Alibaba - which despite its sheer scale still derives most of its revenue from China - has been the most aggressive thus far. "We will continue to put our resources to work in Southeast Asia through Lazada to capture these growth opportunities", Daniel Zhang, CEO of Alibaba Group, added via a statement. Both companies have since worked together closely on areas like logistics and payments to facilitate a better experience for Lazada's Southeast Asian consumers.

It forms part of Alibaba's Electronic World Trading Platform (eWTP) strategy, advancing "Thailand 4.0", and launching Taobao Collection in Singapore and Malaysia allowing local customers to shop for high-quality products from China.

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