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Alibaba buys half of Chinese soccer club for $192 million

05
Jun
2014

By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) – In a speedy deal hatched over a few drinks, Chinas biggest e-commerce company Alibaba is buying half of the countrys most successful soccer club Guangzhou Evergrande for $192 million. For Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Holdings [IPO-ALIB.N] billionaire founder and confessed soccer agnostic, it may seem a fanciful move, the latest in a string of recent acquisitions beyond Alibabas traditional e-commerce businesses. Guangzhou Evergrande is owned by Hong Kong property firm Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd, and the team is coached by World Cup winning manager Italian Marcello Lippi. Alibaba and its affiliates have spent more than $6 billion this year on assets in finance, entertainment and healthcare, seeking to dig deeper into customer wallets ahead of a U.S. stock listing that could be the biggest tech company IPO to date, and value Alibaba at $152 billion.

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