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Alibaba Group

Alibaba is the world’s biggest e-commerce group. Founded by Jack Ma, it owns Tmall.com and its consumer-to-consumer business Taobao.com.

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After Yahoo share buy-back, Alibaba aims to bolster operations

Mainland e-commerce giant still has US$3 billion cash after buy-back and restructuring of units

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2012, 4:14am

Alibaba Group, the country's largest e-commerce company, expects to keep its "strategic flexibility" after sewing up more than US$12 billion over the past 12 months to help finance its initial share buy-back deal with Yahoo.

A person familiar with Alibaba's financing efforts said the company still had about US$3 billion in cash after it completed the repurchase of half of the 40 per cent stake Yahoo held in the Chinese company and restructured its other business interests in transactions that totalled US$7.6 billion.

Following the privatisation of its Alibaba.com business-to-business e-commerce operations, Hangzhou-based Alibaba has continued to reorganise its online businesses in the face of tough economic conditions worldwide.

"Our ability to raise financing in these difficult market conditions speaks to the strength of our business, our market leadership position, and the confidence our investors and financial partners have in the future of Alibaba," said Joseph Tsai Chung, the chief financial officer at Alibaba.

A group of investors led by China Investment Corp paid US$2 billion to acquire a 5.6 per cent stake in Alibaba, according to a report by Bloomberg that cited a person with knowledge of the matter.

The group included CIC International, Boyu Capital, Citic Capital and China Development Bank, the person said.

The parties were identified as investors in an Alibaba statement released on Tuesday.

The interest of CIC, the mainland's US$300 billion sovereign wealth fund, in buying a stake in Alibaba was first reported by the South China Morning Post in July.

Alibaba has more than 25,000 employees worldwide and several subsidiaries. These include business-to-business trading portal operators Alibaba.com International Business and the Chinese-language Alibaba.com Small Business; consumer-to-consumer online shopping subsidiary Taobao Marketplace; business-to-consumer retail platform TMall.com; shopping search engine provider eTao; group buying site Juhuasuan; Alibaba Cloud Computing, its information technology services unit; and China Yahoo.

Leading domestic online payment service provider Alipay is majority-owned by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma Yun and is an affiliate of Alibaba.

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