Singapore's Temasek Holdings and GIC have purchased US$1 billion worth of shares in Alibaba, as part of the recent SoftBank Group buyback deal announced earlier this week.
Alibaba on Thursday said the two Singapore state-owned investment firms would acquire ordinary shares totalling US$500 million each through Gamlight, a wholly-owned subsidiary of GIC, and Temasek-subsidiary Aranda Investments.
The Chinese internet giant said the transactions were made in conjunction with its agreement with SoftBank to buy back shares estimated to be worth US$7.9 billion. While the Japanese telco would remain Alibaba's majority shareholder, this deal would reduce the former's stake from 32 percent to 28 percent.
One of the first investors in the Chinese e-commerce operator, SoftBank said it would use the funds to pay off its debts, which had escalated due in part to its troubled Sprint acquisition. This was the first time the telco was relinquishing shares in Alibaba.
Temasek and GIC also were early investors, with the former reportedly owning some 48.6 million American depositary receipts of Alibaba, and hold shares in other Chinese tech companies. Temasek in 2014 invested US$17.2 million in China's second-largest e-commerce site, JD.com, as well as US$12.8 million in Chinese IT security player, Cheetah Mobile. GIC also holds a stake in Cheetah and China Cache International Holdings.