Chinese e-commerce specialist Alibaba Group has reached an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Southeast Asian e-commerce platform Lazada for a total investment of approximately US$1bn.
Alibaba hopes that the acquisition will provide better access to the Southeast Asian consumer market in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. With only 3% of the region’s total retail sales conducted online, Southeast Asia is expected to offer tremendous growth potential for both Alibaba and Lazada as internet penetration continues to rise.
Michael Evans, president of Alibaba, said, “Globalization is a critical strategy for the growth of Alibaba Group today and well into the future. With the investment in Lazada, Alibaba gains access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base outside China, a proven management team and a solid foundation for future growth in one of the most promising regions for e-commerce globally. This investment is consistent with our strategy of connecting brands, distributors and consumers wherever they are and supporting our ecosystem expansion in Southeast Asia to better serve our customers.”
Max Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group, said, “We are very excited about joining forces with Alibaba and see significant synergies that will drive great benefits to our customers in the region.
“Southeast Asia is an attractive mobile-driven consumer market that is highly fragmented and diverse with significant barriers to entry and a nascent modern retail sector that has large headroom for growth. The transaction will help us to accelerate our goal to provide the 560 million consumers in the region with access to the broadest and most unique assortment of products.
“Furthermore, leveraging Alibaba’s unique knowhow and technology will allow us to rapidly improve our services and provide an even more effortless shopping and selling experience.”
Image source: Alibabagroup.com
April 14, 2016