(Yicai Global) May 11 -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has agreed to purchase tech rival Baidu Inc.'s 5-percent stake in meal delivery platform Ele.me for USD488 million as it looks to take full control of the startup.
Nasdaq-listed Baidu outlined the plans in a filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, Chinese news portal Sina reported. The firm became a shareholder in Ele.me, officially Shanghai Lazhasi Information Technology Co., late last year after it sold its own non-profitable meal delivery business to the company so it could focus on artificial intelligence.
Alibaba announced last month that it planned to team up with its payments affiliate Ant Financial Services Group and take full ownership of Ele.me for around USD9.5 billion. The pair combined for a 43-percent stake in the firm at the time.
The Hangzhou-based firm has been pumping money into its New Retail strategy, which combines online and offline services and is being championed by Executive Chairman Jack Ma. It picked up an additional 2 percent of Ele.me from Beijing Hualian Department Store Co. for USD185 million last month, splurged USD2.9 billion for a one-third stake in supermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group Ltd. in November and pumped USD807 million into Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd. to take control of the company in September.
Editor: James Boynton