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Lianhua Supermarket deal for Alibaba

Alibaba is acquiring an 18 per cent stake in Lianhua Supermarket, an affiliate of retail conglomerate Bailian Group.

This follows the e-commerce giant signing a strategic partnership with Bailian Group in February.

Alibaba will acquire 201,528,000 shares of Lianhua Supermarket from Yiguo.com, a fresh-food e-commerce platform, to become Lianhua’s second-largest shareholder. Lianhua has more than 3600 physical outlets in 19 provinces and municipalities, and the two parties are laying out specific plans for future business collaboration, says a joint statement.

The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Yiguo.com will retain a stake of about 1.17 per cent in Lianhua Supermarket, and Alibaba’s payment affiliate Alipay will be integrated with Bailian’s prepaid card services.

Alibaba Group’s previous offline retail ventures include a share-swap deal with Suning Commerce Group and a privatisation deal to merge with retail chain Intime.

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