Alibaba can proceed with raising SingPost stake

SingPost's regional e-commerce logistics hub in Greenwich Drive. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will raise its stake in SingPost from 10.2 per cent to 14.4 per cent.
SingPost's regional e-commerce logistics hub in Greenwich Drive. Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba will raise its stake in SingPost from 10.2 per cent to 14.4 per cent.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SingPost shareholders backed the issue of new shares to Alibaba Investment at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) yesterday.

The proposal was supported by 99.7 per cent of voting shareholders. The move paves the way for the Chinese e-commerce giant to raise its stake in SingPost from 10.2 per cent to 14.4 per cent.

The issue raised $183.6 million in net proceeds. SingPost said 75 per cent will go towards investments, mergers and acquisitions and upgrading operations and information technology systems with the rest for general working capital.

Yesterday's decision is another step in the deepening collaboration between the two firms. On July 8, 2015, Alibaba said it would buy 107.6 million new shares in SingPost for $187.1 million.

The investment was seen as a way for the companies to leverage each other's strengths in the e-commerce logistics industry.

The issue price of $1.74 per new share fixed back then represented a 7.89 per cent discount to the volume-weighted average price per share on July 7, 2015.

It now represents an 18.4 per cent premium to the volume-weighted average price per share of $1.47 on Dec 7 last year, before the EGM circular was printed.

In 2014, Alibaba invested $312.5 million for a 10.35 per cent stake in SingPost at $1.42 a share, making it the postal and e-commerce group's second largest shareholder after Singtel. Last October, Alibaba subscribed for a 34 per cent stake in Quantium Solutions International, SingPost's e-commerce logistics unit, for $86.2 million.

SingPost shares closed down 1.5 cents, or 0.97 per cent, at $1.525 yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 06, 2017, with the headline 'Alibaba can proceed with raising SingPost stake'. Print Edition | Subscribe