Alibaba Purchases A 50% Stake In China’s Top Football Club.
Chinese giant e-commerce Alibaba has recently announced that it has dished out a total of $190 million for a 50 percent stake in China’s top football club, the company stated on Thursday, in a erratic pace of deal-making before it launches publicly.
Alibaba shall pay over 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million) for the stake for the Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, according to the released statement.
Winners for both the Chinese Super league and the AFC Champions League titles during 2013, Evergrande stated that it had introduced Alibaba as a “strategic investor”.
The two have as of yet to disclose the new ownership structure, but Alibaba shall be claiming over 50 percent stake on the team, the Official Xinhua new agency reported. The other major shareholder is the property developer Evergrande Group, who are behind the current name for the club.
Chinese sport fans seem to be welcoming this recently deal, which could lead towards potentially giving the club access into Alibaba massively deep fortunes to further develop their teams.
“It’s an alliance between giants,” wrote one Weibo user under the name SAM-Chen.
Another user on Sina Weibo, the popular microblogging service which is China’s equivalent of Twitter, said: “I can see a hopeful future for Chinese football.”
Evergrande is known for breaking China’s 23-year Asian title downer when they manage to clinch the continental club championship during the previous year, and are currently seeking to defend their AFC Champions League title under the Italian manager Marcelle Lippi.
The deal has been marked down as one of the many latest in a series of high-profile acquisitions done by Alibaba as it continues to seek out a variety of ways to expand its business portfolio ahead of its planned US Listing that could raise it up to a total of $15 billion, putting it on the same foothold as Facebook’s $16 billion IPO back during 2012.
Alibaba is behind the operations of China’s most popular online shopping platform, Taobao, which has been estimated to hold over more than 90 percent of the online market for consumers-to-consumer transactions.
During the previous week, the company managed to acquire a 10.35 percent stake in Singapore Post for $249 million as part of a strategic cooperation deal.
Before that, Alibaba and a private equity fund backed by its founder Jack Ma stated during the late month of April that they shall pay over $1.22 billion for a stake in China’s leading online video platform Youku Tudou.
Evergrand’s Hong Kong-listed unit Evergrande Real Estate has been up to 3.33 percent by midday Thursday right after this announcement.