Photo: Reuters/Aly Song

Alibaba has agreed to pay HK$22.4 billion (US$2.9 billion) to acquire a 36.16% stake in Hong Kong-listed Sun Art Retail Group, which runs 446 Auchan Retail and RT-Marts, one of the biggest hypermarket chains in China, Caixin reported.

According to the announcement, Taobao China will directly hold 26.02% of the stake. The remaining 10.14% will be indirectly held by Ji Xin, the controlling shareholder of Sun Art Retail Group, also a joint venture set up by Ruentex and Auchan Retail.

The valuation of the Sun Art Retail Group was set at HK$62 billion, with an offer price of HK$6.5 dollar per share. The offer represents a premium of 150.62% to the net asset value per share attributable to shareholders as of June 30.

Alibaba also signed an agreement to cooperate with Sun Art Retail, Auchan Retail and RT-Mart in the digital makeover of grocery shopping. The agreement will be effective after the buy-in deal is closed.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world's first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now.