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Alibaba Group leads $400M financing in Masan Group’s retail unit

Alibaba Group leads $400M financing in Masan Group’s retail unit
Alibaba Group leads $400M financing in Masan Group’s retail unit

Chinese technology major, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, is reportedly leading an investment of $400 million in Masan Group Corp’s retail unit. This marks the first investment of the group in Vietnam, which is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia.

According to a statement by Masan, a consortium comprising Baring Private Equity Asia and Alibaba is acquiring a stake of 5.5% in The CrownX. The transaction will also strengthen Alibaba’s Southeast Asian e-commerce platform, Lazada.

As per Kenny Ho, Alibaba Group’s Head of Investment for Southeast Asia, the integration of Lazada’s e-commerce platform in Vietnam, Alibaba’s online retail expertise, and Masan’s leading offline network will be a robust catalyst for the modernization of the retail landscape in Vietnam.

As part of the deal, VinCommerce, with over 2,900 mini-marts and 130 supermarkets will be the preferred retailer of grocery on Lazada’s platform in Vietnam and its physical stores are set to become pick-up points for online orders.

For the record, The CrownX, the largest retail company in Vietnam, was formed via a merger of Vingroup’s high-tech farms and retail units with Masan’s food and beverage unit in 2019. As per a statement, the firm had a pre-investment valuation of $93.50 per share or $6.9 billion. Masan, the parent organization, is set to hold a value of 80.2% of the retail unit.

As further stated by the company it was in advanced negotiations with other investors for an additional funding of between $300 million to $400 million in The CrownX. Masan anticipates this deal to close somewhere later in 2021.

In the upcoming round of investment, financial investors and regional retail players are expected to come up as plausible buyers. Masan was advised on the deal by Credit Suisse and Baring Private Equity Asia was advised by Deutsche Bank.

It is to be noted that Lazada is the competitor of Sea’s Shopee, a Singapore-based Internet platform, which is setting foot across Southeast Asia.

Source credit: https://www.reuters.com/world/china/alibaba-partners-invest-400-mln-retail-arm-vietnams-masan-2021-05-18/

 

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