Simpson Thacher Leads Alibaba’s New $4.6B Deal

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell are leading on ecommerce giant Alibaba Holdings Ltd.’s $4.6 billion investment in Chinese retailer Suning Commerce Group Ltd.

In a deal announced on Monday, Hangzhou-based Alibaba said it was buying a 19.9 percent stake in electronics store chain Suning. Meanwhile, Nanjing-based Suning will also buy $2.3 billion worth of Alibaba shares and hold a 1.1 percent stake in the New York Stock Exchange-listed company.

The deal will combine the advantages of Alibaba’s online marketplace platforms and Suning’s offline logistics channels, the companies said in a joint statement. Suning will also open an online store on Alibaba’s Tmall.com, one of the largest business-to-consumer retail sites in China.

The investment is Alibaba’s latest bid to venture into the online-to-offline market. Last year, it invested $692 million in Chinese shopping mall operator Intime Retail Group Co. Ltd.

Simpson Thacher Hong Kong partners Leiming Chen and Kathryn Sudol are leading the team advising Alibaba. Fangda Partners Shanghai partner Jonathan Zhou is acting as the company’s Chinese counsel.

Sullivan & Cromwell Hong Kong partner Kay Ian Ng is representing Suning. King & Wood Mallesons Shanghai partner Cecilia Lou is advising on Chinese law.

Simpson Thacher and Fangda also acted for Alibaba on its record $25 billion initial public offering last September, with Sullivan & Cromwell and King & Wood Mallesons advising on the underwriters’ side.

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