So, how is your 2014 going?
For Jack Ma, the past five months were one crazy shopping spree. The 49-year-old billionaire founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group has been involved in eight major deals with a tally of close to US$5 billion.
That’s equal to writing a check of around US$1 billion every month.
And, we didn’t count the small peanuts like the US$15 million Alibaba invested in U.S. luxury e-commerce firm 1stdibs, or the US$20 million it co-invested in Chinese travel service provider Byecity.com.
Of course, these deals, across the media, education, pharmaceutical and technology sector, are not all from Jack Ma’s personal wallet. But it’s fair to say that he is the brain behind each deal.
As you will see from the list below, most deals are led by Alibaba Group. Even though he stepped down as CEO last May, Jack Ma continues to shape the company’s business strategy. Not to mention he still holds 7.4% of the e-commerce giant.
Yunfeng Capital, a Shanghai-based private equity firm co-founded by Jack Ma, is a co-investor in one of the deals.
Two other deals are done through companies owned by Jack Ma, or together with his allies.
– Deals led by Alibaba Group: 7.4% owned by Jack Ma, who is also executive chairman
On April 2, Alibaba Group announced that it will make a HK$5.37 billion ($692 million) strategic investment in Beijing-based department store operator Intime Retail. The equity and convertible bond purchase will give Alibaba no less than 25% stake in Intime Retail.
On March 21, U.S. video messaging service provider Tango says Alibaba Group has invested US$215 million in the company, as part of its US$280 million series C round. Alibaba took an undisclosed minority stake.
On March 12, Hong Kong-listed Chinese television and film production firm ChinaVision Media Group says Alibaba Group has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in the company for about HK$6.24 billion ($804 million).
On February 17, Shanghai-based online education and English-language learning company TutorGroup says Alibaba Group has led the company’s US$100 million series B round. The specific size of Alibaba’s investment is not disclosed.
On February 10, NASDAQ-listed Chinese digital mapping and navigation firm AutoNavi Holdings Ltd. disclosed that Alibaba Group has proposed to acquire 72% of the company it doesn’t already own for US$1.1 billion.
On January 23, Alibaba Group says it will acquire 54.3% of Chinese pharmaceutical data firm CITIC 21CN for around HK$1.3 billion ($170 million). Yunfeng Capital is a co-investor in the deal.
– Deal done through Zhejiang Rongxin Technologies Ltd.: 99.14% owned by Jack Ma, with the remaining shares owned by Xie Shihuang, vice president and co-founder of Alibaba Group
On April 2, Zhejiang Rongxin agreed to acquire 20.62% of Shanghai-listed financial software company Hundsun Technologies Inc. for RMB3.299 billion ($530 million) in cash.
– Deal done through Hangzhou Yunxi Investment Partnership Enterprise: owned by Jack Ma and Alibaba co-founder Xie Shihuang, as well as founder of Giant Interactive Group Inc. Shi Yuzhu
On April 8, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province-based Chinese digital TV firm Wasu Media says Hangzhou Yunxi Investment Partnership Enterprise will acquire 20% of the company for RMB6.54 billion ($1.05 billion).