Chinese Alibaba will once again invest 2 billion dollars (1.6 billion euro) into e-commerce company Lazada, active in Southeast Asia. It invested a similar sum in the group about two years ago.
“The investment underscores Alibaba’s confidence in the future success of Lazada’s business and the growth prospect of the Southeast Asian market, a region that is a key part of Alibaba’s global growth strategy”, the Chinese company said. It wants to get a firmer grip on the region in order to fight off other major competitors, like JD.com and Amazon. Since its previous investment, it managed to increase its footprint in the region considerably and Southeast Asia is still an enormous growth market.
Aside from its increased investment, Alibaba also placed a familiar face at the head of Lavaza. Lucy Peng is one of Alibaba’s founders and will now replace Max Bittner as CEO. In return, Bittner will become an Alibaba adviser.
In the summer of 2016, Alibaba acquired Rocket Internet and Kinnevik’s Lazada shares, which give it an additional 12.4 % stake. In total, Alibaba had control over 83 % of shares at that time, but it is not clear how many shares it currently owns.