China's Alibaba invests $3.3 billion to raise stake in logistics unit Cainiao

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Alibaba Group is seen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding BABA.N, said on Friday it would invest an additional 23.3 billion yuan ($3.33 billion) to raise its equity stake in its logistics affiliate Cainiao Smart Logistics Network to 63% from 51%.

Alibaba co-founded Cainiao in 2013, with partners including department store owner Intime Group, conglomerate Fosun Group and a handful of logistics companies. The network underpins delivery for Alibaba’s e-commerce marketplaces.

Alibaba took control of Cainiao two years ago, bumping up its stake to 51% from 47% at the time, and said it would spend more than 100 billion yuan over five years to build out a global logistics network.

Alibaba said the latest investment would go toward subscribing for newly issued Cainiao shares and an equity interest from an existing shareholder.

It did not provide a breakdown of the acquisition cost for each deal, but its total spending suggests the logistics unit could be worth around $28 billion.

It said other existing Cainiao shareholders also participated in the fundraising.

“Logistics is a key pillar of the Alibaba business operating System. It allows us to offer the best service to customers and to effectively advance our new retail strategy,” Alibaba’s CEO and chairman, Daniel Zhang, said in an e-mailed statement.

Reporting by Brenda Goh; Additional Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Edmund Blair and Timothy Heritage