Alibaba Acquires 50% Stake in Guangzhou Evergrande FC

By Community | June 5, 2014

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba have secured a 50% stake in Guangzhou Evergrande Football Club for a reported 1.2 billion yuan ($192m)

Guangzhou Evergrande is one of China’s most successful football clubs and has one the Chinese Super League every year since 2011.

It was also the first Chinese team to win the Asian Football Confederation Champions League last year.

Alibaba’s purchase comes in the run up to its highly-anticipated US share sale, and marks the firm’s latest attempt to diversify its business.

Billionaire founder Jack Ma has made several acquisitions ahead of the internet giant’s initial public offering, which many predict will become the world’s largest tech listing.

Earlier this year, Alibaba bought a stake in Chinese online video company Youku Tudou and has started offering videogames on its mobile applications.

“We’re not investing in football, we’re investing in entertainment,” Mr Ma told a news conference on Thursday. “Alibaba’s future strategies are health and entertainment.”

Guangzhou-based Evergrande is owned by property developer Evergrande Group, which is controlled by Xu Jiayin. Mr. Xu has a net worth of $7.7 billion, according to the Hurun Report wealth-tracking service.