Alibaba invests $192M in top Chinese soccer team

Alibaba (ABABA) isn't scared to go off the beaten path during its pre-IPO investment spree: The Chinese e-commerce giant is spending $192M to buy a 50% stake in Guangzhou Evergrande, China's most successful soccer club.

"We're not investing in football, we're investing in entertainment ... Alibaba's future strategies are health and entertainment," says founder Jack Ma. With the club set to invite 20 "strategic investors" to buy 2% stakes, Alibaba's stake will eventually be lowered to 30%.

Xu Jiayin, chairman of the company that owns Evergrande, says the deal was hatched only on Monday. "I got Jack drunk in Hong Kong and afterwards asked him if he'd invest, and he said 'okay' ... The discussions were finished within 15 minutes yesterday morning."

Alibaba announced a $249M investment in Singaporean postal service/logistics firm SingPost last week. Prior investments: Wasu Media, AutoNavi, Intime, Haier, ChinaVision Media, Youku.

Yesterday: Alibaba reportedly eying "lucky" 8/8 IPO

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Comments (3)
  • Stone Fox Capital
    , contributor
    Comments (10304) | Send Message
    absurd that Alibaba is investing instead of Jack Ma individually.
    5 Jun 2014, 02:14 PM Reply Like
  • Nitin B. Sharma
    , contributor
    Comments (225) | Send Message
    reeks of problems.
    5 Jun 2014, 02:46 PM Reply Like
  • Patience29
    , contributor
    Comments (230) | Send Message
    "I got Jack drunk in Hong Kong and afterwards asked him if he'd invest, and he said 'okay'"


    Wow. Think I'll be calling him 'Easy Money' from now on...
    5 Jun 2014, 02:53 PM Reply Like
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