Profits leap at Alibaba as it eyes digital stake

Posted February 02, 2018

Alibaba will acquire the equity interest in Ant Financial through a domestic subsidiary, the statement said.

Upon closing, the companies will terminate the current profit-sharing arrangement under which Ant Financial pays royalty and technology service fees in an amount equal to 37.5% of its pre-tax profits to Alibaba.

According to the company's 2016 annual report, Ant Financial has 23 shareholders, with Junhan Investment and Junao Investment holding the highest proportion of investment, 6.34 billion yuan and 5.12 billion yuan respectively. "60 per cent of an apple compared with 40 per cent of a watermelon, which one do you want?"

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Alibaba said it would take a 33 percent stake in Ant Financial, controlled by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, which had been held as a separate company but part of the Alibaba Group.

The company also raised its revenue growth forecast for the 12 months ending March to 55 to 56 percent, up from a previous estimate of 49 to 53 percent.

"[Lower margins] are not a concern to us at all because we believe we can maintain the same capital efficiency over time, and generate similar returns on invested capital as our internet-based marketplaces", she said, while commenting on the group's new retail strategy and increased investment in the offline commerce landscape. Alibaba reported an 18% increase in mobile monthly active users (MAUs) to 580 million, while the revenue per buyer has also surged on a year-over-year basis. We are excited by the continued momentum in New Retail, which came to life during another record-breaking 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

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Trilegal advised Ant Financial and the team was led by Partner Rohan Ghosh Roy along with Senior Associates Jeet Chaudhuri and Anurag Shrivastav and Associates Tanay Shah, Pujitha Gullapalli, Vinit Patwari and Divyajyot Verma.

The entry of Alibaba into India's food-tech business makes it competitive as now the industry has three big investors including Softbank and Naspers.

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