Alibaba Invests $2.2B in Focus Media

Tristan Cotterill

China’s Alibaba Group has become one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies by promoting online shopping and now it appears that it is dipping its toes into out of home.

It was announced this week that Alibaba Group will acquire a minority interest in China’s Focus Media Information Technology. Focus Media is of course one of China’s largest advertising media businesses, and has a network of digital ad screens on streets, in subways and in elevators across 300 Chinese cities, claiming to reach 200 million consumers.

According to a filing to the New York Stock Exchange, Alibaba will also purchase a 10% stake in an entity controlled by Focus Media’s billionaire founder and chairman Jason Jiang, which in turn owns 23.3% of Focus Media, for USD 504.7 million and New Retail Strategic Opportunities Fund L.P., a related party of Alibaba, will acquire a 1.37% interest in Focus Media as well.

The total investment looks like it will be around USD 2.2 billion – which still only gives Alibaba a 10.3% stake in Focus Media.

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