THE GIANT OF THE E-COMMERCE CHINA ALIBABA ACQUIRES 50% OF GUANGZHOU MA MARCELLO LIPPI TRAINED TO 140 MILLION EUROS
Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba has acquired a 50 per cent stake in Asian Champions League winners Guangzhou Evergrande.
The deal is worth some US$192 million and is the latest in a string of high-profile acquisitions and buy-ins made by Alibaba, as it prepares to go public in the United States later this year.
The remaining 50 per cent of Guangzhou Evergrande will remain in the hands of Evergrande Real Estate and its owner Xu Juayin, which acquired the club in 2010.
Last season, the club, managed by Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi, became the first Chinese team to win the Asian Champions League.
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Xu said that he would be seeking additional investors in the club and would likely issue new shares in the coming months.
Speaking at a press conference in Guangzhou, a city in the south of China, on Thursday, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma said: “I think not understanding soccer doesn’t matter. I also didn’t understand retail, ecommerce or the internet [prior to investing].”
Ma added: “We’re not investing in football, we’re investing in entertainment. Alibaba’s future strategies are health and entertainment.”
Alibaba is China’s eBay equivalent, but is branching out into a variety of other areas. It is currently experimenting with instant messaging platforms, recently acquiring online chat service Tango. Other recent acquisitions include media production firm Chinavision and shopping mall Intime.