China's Alibaba Group is increasing its stake and investments in Singapore Post (SingPost), pumping in US$206.45 million to drive the development of e-commerce infrastructure and services in the region.
The Chinese e-commerce giant will invest an estimated S$92 million (US$67.85 million) for a 34 percent stake in SingPost-subsidiary Quantium Solutions International (QSI), which provides e-commerce logistics and fulfilment services including warehousing in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following the investment, QSI will become a joint venture between Alibaba and SingPost--which will retain a 66 percent stake in the company--and tap the new funds to boost its infrastructure and services. It also will provide a platform for the two companies to collaborate, leveraging QSI's e-commerce warehousing, last-mile delivery services, among others.
In addition, Alibaba will acquire new ordinary shares worth 5 percent of SingPost's existing share capital, for S$187.1 million (US$138.6 million), both companies said in a joint statement Wednesday. This will increase Chinese company's share from 10.23 percent to 14.51 percent, though, purchase of the new shares is still subject to approval from the Infocomm Development Authority and SingPost's shareholders.
The new investment plans follow Alibaba's initiative investment in SingPost announced in May 2014, which totaled S$312.5 million (US$230.83 million). The two partners then had mooted the possibility of setting up a joint venture related to global e-commerce logistics.
Today's announcement also unveiled plans to set up a joint steering committee to exchange knowledge and tap each other's expertise to improve efficiencies and integration of e-commerce logistics services.
SingPost Chairman Lim Ho Kee said: "As a postal service provider, we are on a burning platform, facing a global decline in mail revenue with trends like e-substitution and lifestyle changes. It is a win-win situation for both of us because we share similar goals and have a natural fit between our operations across Asia."
Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang added: "Over the past year, Alibaba and SingPost have worked closely to explore cross border e-commerce opportunities and created a series of customized logistics solutions in various markets. This additional investment into SingPost and establishment of a joint venture signify our commitment in expanding our global logistics footprint, which in turn will help Chinese businesses sell, and global brands deliver, more easily around the world."