Alibaba, Auchan Retail, Ruentex form new retail strategic alliance
Alibaba, Auchan Retail and Ruentex have announced a strategic alliance that brings together their online and offline expertise to explore new retail opportunities in China's food retail sector. As part of this strategic alliance, Alibaba will invest a total of $2.88B to obtain an aggregate direct and indirect stake of 36.16% in Sun Art Retail Group by acquiring shares from Ruentex. Auchan Retail is also increasing its stake in Sun Art. The transaction will give Auchan Retail, Alibaba Group and Ruentex approximately a 36.18%, 36.16%, and 4.67% economic interest in Sun Art, respectively. Auchan Retail will continue to consolidate Sun Art in its financials following the transaction. Sun Art is a multi-format offline food retailer in China. As of June 30, 2017, Sun Art operated with a total gross floor area of approximately 12M square meters in China. Sun Art currently operates 446 hypermarkets as large as 17,000 square meters in 29 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities across China under the "RT-Mart" and "Auchan" banners. It also operates superstores and innovative unmanned stores under the "Auchan Minute" brand. Combining the resources of the three companies, the new alliance will enable Sun Art's activities to benefit from Alibaba's digital ecosystem. It will digitize and introduce new retail solutions at Sun Art stores, including online and offline integration together with modern fulfillment and personalized customer experience.