E-commerce giant Alibaba on Monday announced it will acquire full ownership of China’s leading online food delivery startup Ele.me for $9.5 billion.
The e-commerce giant and its affiliate Ant Financial currently own about 43 per cent of the outstanding voting shares of Ele.me, Alibaba said in a statement.
“Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail initiative,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said.
With a large delivery force in cities across China, Ele.me’s fast local delivery services will build on its core expertise in food delivery to provide consumers with a wider range of products and services on-demand.
“We share the same strategic vision that New Retail has a bright future and being part of Alibaba’s ecosystem will take Ele.me’s growth to a new level,” said Zhang Xuhao, founder of Ele.me.
Ele.me will continue to operate as its own brand, but will combine some services with Koubei, Alibaba’s affiliated local services platform.
After the acquisition, Zhang Xuhao will become chairperson of Ele.me and special advisor to Alibaba’s CEO on New Retail strategy. Wang Lei, vice president of Alibaba Group, will become CEO of Ele.me.
Ele.me took over Baidu Waimai, Baidu’s food delivery unit, last year in an industry consolidation, Xinhua news agency reported.