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Alibaba, partners invest US$400 million in retail arm of Vietnam’s Masan

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

The consortium, which includes Alibaba Group and Baring Private Equity Asia, has paid for a 5.5 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent 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, of Reuters

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