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Alibaba buys Intime

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has agreed to acquire a 35 per cent stake in department store chain Intime for $692 million.

The acquisition is aimed at integrating their online and offline businesses.

Alibaba said in a statement that it will take a 9.9 per cent equity stake in Intime for $214 million and subscribe to $478 million in convertible bonds, which if converted would give Alibaba no less than an additional 25 per cent stake in Intime.

“We see significant opportunities to extend our e-commerce platform to physical retail, developing a more engaging, omnichannel and digitally connected shopping experience,” Daniel Zhang, Alibaba’s COO, said in a statement.

Alibaba has been investing heavily on acquisitions to retain its online dominance in China. It has significantly invested in web sports retailer Fanatics, Internet mapping company Autonavi, apps search engine Quixey and US online retailer ShopRunner.

The acquisitions are part of its preparations for its $15 billion US IPO.

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