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Alibaba to buy minority stake in Focus Media to tap digital marketing 

Key Points
  • Alibaba has agreed to acquire a minority stake in China's Focus Media Information Technology.
  • The Chinese e-commerce giant is seeking to tap into the digital marketing sector.
  • Alibaba will acquire about 6.62 percent in Focus Media for $1.43 billion and possibly another 5 percent stake in the next 12 months.
Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Bloomberg | Getty

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Wednesday said it has agreed to acquire a minority stake in China's Focus Media Information Technology to tap into the digital marketing sector.

Alibaba will acquire about 6.62 percent in Focus Media for 9.63 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) and possibly another 5.0 percent stake in the next 12 months, it said in a statement.

The e-commerce firm would also invest $511.1 million in an entity controlled by Focus Media's chairman Jason Jiang, by subscribing to newly issued shares, it said.

Focus media, which was founded in 2003, has its main business in China's interactive digital media and online advertising sectors.

Upon completion of the deal, Alibaba will become Focus Media's strategic investor, the Shenzhen-listed firm said in a separate exchange filing.

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Key Points
  • Alibaba reported a 61 percent increase in fourth-quarter revenue, beating analyst estimates.
  • The results were driven by stronger than expected growth in its core commerce business.
  • Alibaba is China's biggest e-commerce firm.