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Der Spiegel, Oliver, Marc and Alexander Samwer, are among “the most successful businessmen on the web.” In separate announcements made at the same time, Tesco and Kinnevik each said that they had sold some of their Lazada shares to Alibaba as part of the deal. Tesco sold an 8.6% stake for $129 million, and Kinnevik sold a 3.8% stake for $57 million. Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals. Alibaba was founded in 1999 by Yun Ma, chairman, and is based in Hangzhou, China. Alibaba has a current NYSE mark value of $189.71 billion. The transaction is expected to help brands and distributors around the world that already do business on Alibaba’s platform, as well as local merchants, to access the Southeast Asian consumer market. Lazada currently operates eCommerce platforms in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. These six countries combined have a population of approximately 560 million and an estimated Internet user base of 200 million, according to Internet Live Stats. With only 3% of the region’s total retail sales conducted online, Southeast Asia is expected to offer tremendous growth potential to both companies as internet penetration continues to rise. “Globalization is a critical strategy for the growth of Alibaba Group today and well into the future,” said Michael Evans, President of Alibaba. “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 eCommerce globally. This investment is consistent with our strategy of connecting brands, distributors and consumers wherever they are and support our ecosystem expansion in Southeast Asia to better serve our customers.” Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet, commented: “This transaction is a key milestone for Lazada as it underlines its position as leading online platform in South-East Asia. Alibaba as the new major shareholder is further strengthening this position and provides the basis for significant future growth given Alibaba’s strong strategic position in the region. We are looking forward to working with Alibaba and the existing Lazada shareholders to support Lazada in building the leading ecommerce franchise in South East Asia.” Rocket’s mission is to become the world’s largest Internet platform outside of the United States and China. Rocket identifies and builds proven Internet business models and transfers them to new, underserved or untapped markets where it seeks to scale them into market leading online companies. Rocket started in 2007 and now has more than 30,000 employees across its network of companies, which are active in more than 110 countries across six continents. Max Bittner, CEO of Lazada Group added, “We are very excited about joining forces with Alibaba and see significant synergies that will drive great benefits to our customers in Southeast Asia. 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 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.” In connection with the transaction, Alibaba entered into a put-call arrangement with certain Lazada shareholders, giving Alibaba the right to purchase, and the shareholders the right to sell collectively, their remaining stakes in Lazada at fair market value during the 12 to 18 month period after the closing of the transaction. Founded in 2012, Lazada is a one-stop eCommerce gateway for local and international brands and distributors to consumers in six distinct Southeast Asian markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore Thailand and Vietnam. By combining its regional presence with locally tailored capabilities in areas such as supply-chain, last-mile delivery and payment, Lazada has developed a unique solution for global brands and distributors wanting to enter this rapidly growing region. Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited acted as exclusive financial advisor to Alibaba and Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC as exclusive financial advisor to Lazada. Photo: Germany’s Rocket Internet founders, brothers Oliver (CEO), Marc and Alexander Samwer.]]>