Multinational technology company Alibaba Group has acquired a controlling stake in Chinese supermarket and hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group.
The company has increased its aggregate direct and indirect stake to around 72% with a nearly $3.6bn investment.
With this investment, Alibaba will take over 70.94% of equity interest in A-RT Retail (A-RT) that holds about 51% of the equity interest in Sun Art.
Equity interest in A-RT is being bought from Auchan Retail International and its subsidiary.
Alibaba Group chairman and chief executive officer Daniel Zhang said: “Alibaba’s strategic investment in Sun Art in 2017 was an important step in our New Retail strategy.
“The alliance we formed with Auchan Retail and Ruentex was instrumental in building a robust infrastructure to create opportunities and value in China’s retail sector.
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“Led by chief executive officer Peter Huang, Sun Art has achieved impressive results in its digitalisation, and pursued promising synergies with businesses across the Alibaba digital economy.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalisation of consumer lifestyles and enterprise operations, this commitment to Sun Art serves to strengthen our New Retail vision and serve more consumers with a fully integrated experience.”
In addition, Alibaba Group has appointed Peter Huang as the chairman of Sun Art.
Alibaba Group announced strategic alliance with Auchan Retail and Ruentex Group in 2017.