Consortium Led by Alibaba, Jiangsu Government Near Deal for Suning.com

A consortium led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and the Jiangsu provincial government are nearing a deal to buy a stake in the retail arm of Chinese billionaire Zhang Jindong’s Suning empire, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest domino to fall in Beijing’s effort to clean up its heavily indebted conglomerates, Bloomberg News reported. The unit, Suning.com Co., could make an announcement as soon as this week. Zhang will no longer have control of the company after the dealmarking the end of his run as a high-profile entrepreneur who drove Suning into an array of businesses, including ownership of the Inter Milan soccer team. Suning.com, one of China’s biggest retailers of appliances, electronics and other consumer goods, had a market value of about 52 billion yuan ($8 billion) before a trading halt on June 16. It’s been in trouble for some time: the retail business was weakened by the slowdown in spending during the pandemic, and concerns about its cash flow intensified in September, when Zhang waived his right to a 20 billion yuan payment from China Evergrande Group, the world’s most indebted property developer. Read more.
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