Alibaba has formed an alliance with Auchan Retail and Ruentex Group to explore new opportunities in China's food retail sector.
Alibaba will invest 22.4 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 2.88 billion U.S. dollars) to obtain 36.16 percent of Sun Art Retail by acquiring shares from Ruentex. Auchan Retail is also increasing its stake in Sun Art.
If all goes well, Auchan Retail and Alibaba will each own around 36.2 percent of Sun Art, and Ruentex 4.67 percent.
Food retailer Sun Art has a total gross floor area of about 12 million square meters in China in close to 450 "RT-Mart" and "Auchan" hypermarkets. It also operates superstores and some unmanned stores under the "Auchan Minute" brand.