Alibaba Group is investing about $692 million in retail company Intime Retail with the aim of setting up a joint venture that aims to provide linkages between their online and physical retail businesses in China. The Chinese e-commerce giant will invest $214 million in shares of Intime, besides acquiring $478 million in convertible bonds, according to a filing by Intime on Monday to the Hong Kong stock exchange.
China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd agreed to invest $692 million in a Chinese department store operator as the e-commerce giant looks to bring the benefits and convenience of online shopping to customers who visit real bricks-and-mortar stores. Alibaba, whose businesses will come under investor scrutiny ahead of the group’s planned mega IPO in the United States this year, said it will buy $214 million worth of shares in Hong Kong-listed Intime Retail (Group) Co Ltd. It also agreed to acquire $478 million of convertible bonds, which would give Alibaba a 26.1 percent stake in the department store operator once the bonds are converted into shares in three years. In recent months Alibaba has gone on a shopping spree, spending more than $2.7 billion to expand into media, chat services and mapping technology.