SHANGHAI : Alibaba Group said on Tuesday it was offering to buy the 36 per cent of Cainiao it does not already own for up to $3.75 billion, abandoning plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of the logistics business in Hong Kong.

In the Chinese e-commerce giant’s latest u-turn of its restructuring plan, Alibaba, which holds a stake of around 64 per cent in Cainiao, said it was offering to acquire the remaining stock.

“Given the strategic importance of Cainiao to Alibaba and the significant long-term opportunity we see in building out a global logistics network, we believe this is an appropriate time to double down,” said Alibaba Group Chairman Joe Tsai.

Tsai in a recent earnings call said all Alibaba’s planned IPOs, including Cainiao’s “were subject to market conditions”.

“Market conditions currently are just not in a state where we believe we can really truly reflect the true intrinsic value of these businesses,” he said at the time.

In a statement, Alibaba said on Tuesday that it is offering minority shareholders of Cainiao an opportunity to sell all the outstanding shares for $0.62 per share.

Alibaba has had a tumultuous year since announcing the biggest shake-up in its 25-year history by splitting into six units. It has installed a new CEO, announced and then abandoned listing its Cloud division and refocused on its core businesses.

“The management reorganization resulted in more nimble and efficient decision-making, and we have seen a major positive impact on our business. We are confident that the effects of this reorganization will be reflected in Alibaba’s operating and financial metrics in the future,” Tsai said.

Cainiao first filed the IPO paperwork to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in September. Tuesday marked the last day of a six month window before which it was required to update its listing status. No timeline had ever been publicly disclosed.

Alibaba also said it would hold a conference call at 9:30 p.m. Hong Kong time to discuss the Cainiao announcement.


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