Alibaba takes 18% stake in China’s Lianhua Supermarket

Lianhua share price surged over 30 per cent after news of deal that may be worth $100m

Alibaba. Photograph: Chance Chan/Reuters/File

Alibaba. Photograph: Chance Chan/Reuters/File


China’s Lianhua Supermarket Holdings on Monday said shareholder Shanghai Yiguo E-Commerce would sell an 18 per cent stake in the supermarket chain operator to a unit of Alibaba Group.

Lianhua said Shanghai Yiguo would transfer 201.53 million domestic shares to Alibaba (China) Technology. It did not provide a value.

Based on Lianhua’s stock price as of Monday afternoon trade, the deal could be worth HK$782 million ($100.33 million), Reuters calculations showed.

Shanghai Yiguo also agreed to sell 22.39 million shares, or about 2 per cent of Lianhua, to Bailian Group Co Ltd, Lianhua said in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse.

In February Alibaba formed a strategic partnership with Bailian Group, the largest retailer by store numbers to join the e-commerce giant’s drive to use big data to improve and profit from brick-and-mortar sales.

Trading in Lianhua shares, which was suspended late on Monday morning, resumed in afternoon trade. The share price surged over 30 per cent to its highest since September 2015, at HK$4.21 prior to the trading halt. The stock trimmed gains when trade resumed but was still up 23.5 per cent at HK$3.89.

  • Reuters