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SBD Global/June 6, 2014/Finance
E-commerce Group Alibaba Agrees To Buy 50% Stake In CSL Club Guangzhou Evergrande
Published June 6, 2014
ANALYSTS NOT CONVINCED: REUTERS' Paul Carsten reported "analysts weren't convinced." Beijing-based Forrester Research VP Bryan Wang said, "Fifty percent seems like a big stake to get a deal on content" (REUTERS, 6/5). BLOOMBERG reported the deal was "struck over drinks" between Ma and "fellow billionaire Hui Ka Yan." Ma and Hui "agreed on the terms with a 15-minute phone call" on Wednesday after "first discussing it over drinks in Hong Kong the night before." Ma: "I went back to the company, people at the company were having a meeting, I broke them off and said just give me five minutes, I said I hope we can make investments happily. China's soccer industry needs somebody to help stir up things" (BLOOMBERG, 6/5). The WSJ reported Alibaba's investment in China's top football team, "currently owned by a real estate tycoon, could say something about the poor state of the country's real estate industry." It is Alibaba's first move "into a realm that's traditionally been dominated by real estate developers." Other Chinese teams "backed by real estate money include Guangzhou R&F, Guizhou Renhe and Hangzhou Greentown." On the other hand, the Chinese real estate sector has been "plagued by nothing but bad news in recent months, amid growing fears that the property market is due for a correction." A "high-profile real estate developer has likened the situation to the Titanic headed for an iceberg." Investors "certainly took comfort from the sale of Evergrande Group's stake," with shares in Evergrande Real Estate Group Ltd. "jumping 3.3% on the news in Hong Kong" (WSJ, 6/5).