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Alibaba, Partners Invest $400 Million in Retail Arm of Vietnam’s Masan

Alibaba headquarters. Reuters.

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and partners have invested $400 million in the retail unit of Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group Corp, Masan said on Tuesday.

The consortium, which includes Alibaba Group and Baring Private Equity Asia, has paid for a 5.5 percent stake in Masan’s retail arm, The CrownX, the company said in a statement.

The CrownX, founded in 2019, is valued under the deal at $6.9 billion, equivalent to $93.50 a share, the statement said. Parent company Masan will hold 80.2 percent of retail unit.

The deal will expand Alibaba’s presence in Southeast Asia after its $4 billion investment in e-commerce firm Lazada in 2018.

“The CrownX will work closely with Lazada to accelerate our digital transformation into an ‘all-in-one’ platform to serve consumers’ both offline and online purchases,” Masan said in the statement.

The company said it was in talks with other investors on an additional investment of between $300 million to $400 million in The CrownX with that deal expected to close in 2021.

Masan shares opened up 5.57 percent on Tuesday to 110,000 dong after the announcement, giving the company a market capitalisation at $5.3 billion.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Ed Davies

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