Alibaba Group’s US$2.88 billion acquisition of 36.16% stake in Sun Art Retail Group

Clifford Chance advised Kofu International Limited and Concord Greater China Limited, held by Taiwan-listed Ruentex Group, on their US$2.88 billion (HK$22.4 billion) sale of an aggregate 36.16% direct and indirect interest in Hong Kong-listed Sun Art Retail Group Limited, one of China’s largest hypermarket retailers, to Taobao China Holding Limited, a subsidiary of Alibaba Group.

Following the transaction, Ruentex will retain a minority indirect interest of 4.67%. Taobao China will also make a mandatory cash offer for the shares of Sun Art that it does not hold or has agreed to acquire.

In addition, Hangzhou Alibaba Zetai Information Technology Company Limited (being the direct wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba Group) will enter into a business cooperation agreement with Sun Art to provide services including granting access by the stores operated by Sun Art Group to its business model and online platform; data sharing; and integration of systems and POS hardware as part of its ‘Taobao Daojia’ service offering to the stores operated by the Sun Art Group.

Ruentex Group is a Taiwanese conglomerate with interests in food retailing, textiles and real estate and is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

China Co-Managing Partner Terence Foo (picture) led on the deal and was supported by Beijing senior associates Seow Tzi-Yang, Janet Jiang and trainee Jiangzhou Lan, working in collaboration with Hong Kong partner Frank Yuen on Takeover Code issues and Hong Kong partner Edith Leung on financing issues.

 

Involved fees earner: Terence Foo – Clifford Chance; Janet Jiang – Clifford Chance; Frank Yuen – Clifford Chance; Seow Tzi-Yang – Clifford Chance; Edith Leung – Clifford Chance;

Law Firms: Clifford Chance;

Clients: Kofu International Limited; Concord Greater China Limited;