E-commerce retailer Alibaba Group is set to acquire the remaining shares in Chinese online delivery and local services platform Ele.me for $9.5bn.
Along with its affiliate Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group, Alibaba currently owns approximately 43% of the outstanding voting shares of Ele.me.
The acquisition will integrate Ele.me’s business into Alibaba’s ecosystem and advance the group’s New Retail strategy to provide seamless online and offline consumer experience in the local services sector.
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said: “Under the leadership of its founder and management team, Ele.me has achieved leading market share in China’s online food delivery and local services sector.
“Our shared belief that New Retail will create more value for customers and merchants has brought us together. Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail initiative.”
Following the deal, Ele.me. will continue to operate in its own brand and work closely with its existing partners and merchants.
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Alibaba said that it will fully support Ele.me. and allow the company access to the group’s New Retail infrastructure, technology expertise and product offerings.
Ele.me will complement Koubei, Alibaba’s affiliated local services platform and provides extended synergies.
After the completion of the deal, Ele.me founder Zhang Xuhao will be named as chairman of Ele.me and special advisor to Alibaba’s CEO on New Retail strategy.
Alibaba Group vice-president Wang Lei will become CEO of Ele.me.
Ele.me founder Zhang Xuhao said: “Our customers, merchants and partners will benefit from our further integration into the Alibaba family.
“We share the same strategic vision that New Retail has a bright future and being part of Alibaba’s ecosystem will take Ele.me’s growth to a new level.”