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US News Auchan leaves China and sells its activities to Alibaba for 3 billion euros

15:40  19 october  2020
15:40  19 october  2020 Source:   latribune.fr

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Three years after the signing of an alliance to develop phygital food retail in China , the suitability and success of which has been well proven, Auchan Retail With both parties noting the unique nature of the Chinese market, Auchan Retail accepted Alibaba ’s proposal to acquire its entire stake in SunArt

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will invest about $ 3 .6 billion to double its stake in Sun Art Retail Group Ltd., taking control of one of China ’s largest hypermarts Sun Art operates hundreds of hypermarkets across China under the Auchan and RT-Mart brands, a massive distribution and storage network that

  Auchan quitte la Chine et vend ses activités à Alibaba pour 3 milliards d'euros © Supplied by La Tribune

More than one year after Carrefour , it is Auchan's turn to sell its activities in China. The other French retail group is leaving the Middle Kingdom with the sale of its Chinese subsidiary SunArt to e-commerce giant Alibaba for some three billion euros, thus drawing a line on the Chinese market, "inspiring" but "very specific".

"Three years after the signing of an alliance" with Alibaba and after having "jointly noted the specificity of the Chinese market, Auchan Retail accepted the proposal made by Alibaba to buy back all of its stake in SunArt (484 hypermarkets, 150,000 employees, leader in food market share in China) ", explained the French group on Monday in a press release.

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Alibaba will raise its direct and indirect stake in the grocery chain to about 72% by acquiring equity from Auchan Retail International SA, then make Sun Art operates hundreds of hypermarkets across China under the Auchan and RT-Mart brands, a massive distribution and storage network that can

Alibaba Group Holdings said on Monday it will invest $ 3 .6 billion to boost its stake in hypermarket operator Sun Art Retail Group, gaining further The e-commerce giant is hoping to further leverage its digital presence to support Sun Art's 481 hypermarkets and three mid-size supermarkets in China as

"Through this operation and its withdrawal from China, Auchan Retail reaffirms its desire to accelerate the deployment of its Auchan 2022 business plan on its current locations", he adds, stressing that "through this sale of an amount of approximately 3 billion euros, it will thus have the financial means to deleverage ", to seize new opportunities and" to develop in new countries ".

"For 20 years, in close collaboration with our local partners Ruentex and Alibaba and thanks to the commitment of our Chinese teams, we have supported the development of our activities in this country. An inspiring market, it nevertheless remains very specific "and" Alibaba appeared to us as the most able to grow SunArt, "said Edgard Bonte, president of Auchan Retail, quoted in the press release.

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According to Alibaba founder Jack Ma, the company also wants to quadruple the number of customers to 2 billion by 2036, up from 423 million buyers in 2016. The company says its online trading accounts for 10 percent of all retailing in China and has generated 15 million jobs.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s .9 billion deal to buy a slice of China ’s largest hypermart chain pits it against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in the As part of the deal, France’s Auchan Retail SA will raise its stake in the Hong Kong-listed company to a similar level, and form an alliance with the internet giant to

"The operation is carried out at the equivalent price of 8.10 Hong Kong dollars per share and will be the subject of a takeover bid on this basis," Auchan said.

Data mining, at the heart of the large-scale retail model

SunArt was created by Auchan in 2000 with Ruentex Group and they were joined by Alibaba in 2017. Auchan held a little over 36% and had control of the company.

"It appeared during a strategic review that if the group wanted to accelerate and bring more to SunArt, it would require integration, particularly technological, in the Alibaba ecosystem", told AFP a source close to the file.

But, according to her, this "in no way calls into question either the transformation steps taken in the Auchan 2022 plan, or the debt reduction projects of 2 billion euros announced in August".

The distribution group announced the first part of its "recovery" plan in spring 2019, with the sale of 21 sites potentially involving between 700 and 800 employees. Then in January he launched a voluntary departure plan, which spared the stores, with the elimination of more than 500 jobs.

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French food retailer Auchan opened its first meat production plant outside the Russian city of Tambov in August. The company has invested more than one billion rubles ( million) and by localizing production aims to cut delivery costs and supply its products not only around Russia but also to

As U.S.- China relations deteriorate and the trade war worsens, there’s been increasing discussions in the U.S. and elsewhere about how to “decouple” economies and firms from China . Japan’s decision is similar to a Taiwanese policy in 2019, which was aimed at bringing investment back home from China .

At the start of September, the group presented the second stage of this plan, which involves 1,500 new job cuts.

In the first half of 2020, Auchan's profitability increased by 79%, but operating profit remained negative. Digital turnover now represents 12% of total turnover for the half-year (ie a growth of 33%).

Present in 14 countries, Auchan Retail (distribution) is one of the two pillars, along with Ceetrus (real estate), of Auchan Holding, owned by the Mulliez Family Association.

Auchan Retail has 2,293 points of sale and employs 329,694 people.

Read also: Carrefour cedes control of its Chinese activities

The insolent dynamism of Alibaba

The Chinese e-commerce giant announced last August a 34% increase in sales in the first quarter of its staggered fiscal year. They reached $ 21.76 billion and exceeded analysts' expectations, because according to Bloomberg, the estimated revenue growth for this period was 28.8%.

Strong growth in digital retail - 87% of Alibaba's total revenue - is part of the reason for this astonishing performance. Added to this are cloud computing revenues (+ 59% year-on-year). Alibaba's net profit therefore increased by + 143%.

At the same time, the number of Alibaba's monthly active mobile users increased from 28 million to 874 million. Annual active consumers, by contrast, increased from 16 million to 742 million.

According to research data analyzed and released by StockApps.com on Monday, October 19, Alibaba stock has risen 81.70% in the past 12 months. Its share price has performed impressively since the start of the year, of + 44.89%.

Due to the massive surge in its shares, the Chinese e-commerce giant has a valuation of $ 820.01 billion as of October 19, 2020. This has significantly widened the gap between Alibaba and Tencent, its main rival in China, whose valuation is $ 659.73 billion, according to Macro Axis.

According to analysts' forecasts, Tencent will show 29% revenue growth and 31% profit growth for 2020. In contrast, Alibaba will grow 32% in revenue and 16% in profit over the course of the same period.

(With AFP)

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