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China’s Alibaba buys 50% stake in Asian football champions

DPA Beijing | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on June 05, 2014

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd on Thursday said it agreed to buy a 50-per-cent stake for 1.2 billion yuan ($192 million) in Guangzhou Evergrande, China’s richest football club and the current Asian champions.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma and real estate tycoon Xu Jiayin, whose Hengda company owns the football club, announced the deal at a joint press conference, state media said.

With high-profile player signings bankrolled by the real estate firm, Evergrande last year became the first Chinese team to win the Asian Champions’ League since the competition’s relaunch in 2002. The club is based in the southern city of Guangzhou, close to Hong Kong.

Alibaba’s investment comes amid a bid to raise its global profile following last month’s announcement that it plans an initial public offering in New York.

The proposed offer price is $1 billion in the filing to the US Security and Exchange Commission, but that sum is considered to be a place holder and Alibaba is expected to raise at least 10 times as much.

Published on June 05, 2014
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