Alibaba buys into furniture chain Macalline

Alibaba has invested US$640 million in Red Star Macalline Group, the largest furniture retail chain in China.

Signalling a renewed interest in the home improvement business, Alibaba made the investment in the form of convertible bonds issued by Macalline’s controlling shareholder. The transaction will see Alibaba taking a 10 per cent shareholding of Macalline’s Shanghai listing if fully converted. Alibaba has also taken 3.7 per cent of Macalline’s Hong Kong-traded shares.

The investment will see emerging cooperation in the furnishings business between the two parties, a move that follows several other plays into the lucrative sector by the e-commerce giant.

Macalline currently has 364 stores in almost 200 cities.


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