(Yicai Global) Dec. 8 -- A unit of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. [NYSE:BABA] has bought all issued shares of hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. in the latest move by the e-commerce company to merge online and offline retailing.
Taobao offered HKD6.5 (USD0.83) a share in cash, Hong Kong-based Sun Art Retail [HKG:6808] said in a statement today. It did not disclose the full purchase cost, but media reports suggest Alibaba will still need to contribute about HKD13.4 billion (USD1.72 billion) to complete the deal.
Alibaba Zetai Information Technology Co Ltd, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba, signed a business cooperation agreement with the company and its subsidiaries, Auchan China and RT-Mart China yesterday, the statement added.
Sun Art Retail and Alibaba Zetai as well as their respective affiliates will promote the cooperation for Sun Art Retail and its affiliates to adopt the Taobao model to use online platforms, data sharing, system and POS hardware integration and delivery services.
The alliance with Alibaba Group will benefit the group's business from Alibaba's ecosystem. The business partnership agreement will digitize Sun Art Retail stores and introduce new retail solutions. Per the business cooperation agreement, the stores will be able to operate as part of Taobao business model. The partnership will allow Sun Art Retail to leverage the internet technology and Taobao's customer traffic to increase the efficiency of the traditional hypermarkets and supermarkets it operates, Sun Art Retail said.