Alibaba Group has said that it wants to privatize Intime Retail, a departmental store in China for HK$19.79 billion ($2.55 billion). Alibaba group currently holds 27.82 percent of Intime and Shen (the founder of Intime) owns 9.17 percent. According to the Reuters, the two have decided to finance the purchase through the internal cash resources and external debt financing.
If the deal finalizes, the Alibaba will own 74% of Intime. The departmental store hopes to improve its services and make new growth plans. “We don’t divide the world into real or virtual economies, only the old and the new,” said Alibaba Group Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang. “Those who cling on to the old ways of retailing will be disrupted.”
Intime has 29 department stores and 17 shopping malls and it mainly operates in the major cities of China. It has a strong presence in Zhejiang province, where Alibaba is headquartered. A large number of people in China use their mobile phones for shopping and the trend of e-Commerce is progressing in the country.
Last year, 18.4 percent of China’s total retail sales were done via online services, and this proportion is expected to be increased to 34 percent in 2020.
According to the Alibaba group, the online shopping will help the retailers in improving their operating efficiencies. The trend of e-Commerce has allowed the retailers to move to a modern technology and use the digital services for the cash transactions.
e-Commerce is progressing rapidly in China. Recently, it was reported that Xiaomi will soon start an online bank in the country. The shareholders and regulators had approved the name Sichuan XW Bank for the lender and it will be publicly available very soon.