Alibaba has announced plans to buy a controlling stake in Sun Art Retail Group for $3.6 billion, as the e-commerce giant hopes to take over and acquire the Chinese grocery market. The move comes as Alibaba has steadily expanded its presence in the offline retail sector in China as growth in its core e-commerce business has slowed.
Alibaba already owns 21% of Sun Art, and is now set to increase its stake to 72% by acquiring a similar stake in holding company A-RT Retail Holdings, a holding company that owns 51% of Sun Art.
The company's CEO indicated that Peter Huang will be appointed Chairman of Sun Art in addition to his current position as CEO. Sun Art shares jumped more than 27% this morning on Alibaba's announcement.