Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is making its largest overseas investment with a $1 billion deal for control of Lazada Group SA, taking the Chinese e-commerce giant to Southeast Asia and closer to a goal of shedding its home-market reliance.
China’s largest online emporium will pay $500 million for new shares in the closely held company and purchase an equal amount from existing investors, Alibaba said in a statement. Investors selling include Germany’s Rocket Internet SE, British supermarket chain Tesco Plc and Investment AB Kinnevik.
The Chinese company is buying its way into a region on the cusp of an online shopping boom, as fast-growing mobile and Internet usage propels consumer spending. Billionaire Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma has set a goal of getting at least half the company’s revenue from overseas, with the Lazada deal adding sales of clothing and electronics in six Southeast Asian market.