Alibaba buys controlling stake in Lazada


Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has announced it has bought a controlling stake in local Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada.

The deal, which is reported to be worth $1 billion (approx 35 billion THB), will see Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd purchase $500 million of newly issued shares, in addition to acquiring shares from some existing Lazada shareholders.

Alibaba President Michael Evans said the deal will help Alibaba expand into Southeast Asia, where the e-commerce market is seeing a period of substantial growth.

“Globalization is a critical strategy for the growth of Alibaba Group today and well into the future,” Evan said in a statement.

“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 eCommerce globally. This investment is consistent with our strategy of connecting brands, distributors and consumers wherever they are and support our ecosystem expansion in Southeast Asia to better serve our customers,” read the statement.

Max Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group added, “We are very excited about joining forces with Alibaba and see significant synergies that will drive great benefits to our customers in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is an attractive mobile-driven consumer market that is highly fragmented and diverse with significant barriers to entry and a nascent modern retail sector that has large headroom for growth. The transaction will help us to accelerate our goal to provide the 560 million consumers in the region access to the broadest and most unique assortment of products. Furthermore, leveraging Alibaba’s unique knowhow and technology will allow us to rapidly improve our services and provide an even more effortless shopping and selling experience.”

Founded in 2012 and with headquarters in Singapore, Lazada operates throughout Southeast Asia including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Alibaba’s acquisition of Lazada enables the Chinese giant to expand its platform across Southeast Asia while at the same time giving it access to Lazada’s already established supply chain and payment options.

Source: Bloomberg



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