HONG KONG (Nikkei Markets) -- JD.com, China's largest retailer, said it is raising about $2.5 billion in a financing round for its unit JD Logistics as it seeks to expand its presence in areas such as automation, drones and robotics.
The company has entered into definitive agreements with investors including investment management firm Hillhouse Capital, social-media major Tencent Holdings, China Life Insurance and the international arm of the nation's largest lender Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, it said in a statement Wednesday.
JD.com will remain the majority shareholder of the unit with an 81.4% stake after the deal, it said. The transaction is likely to close in the first quarter of this year.
"This financing will enable JD Logistics to further enhance its smart-supply chain network with openness and integration," Zhenhui Wang, CEO of JD Logistics, said in a statement. "It is a major step, which will speed up our collaborative efforts with leading industry partners and build China's next-generation commercial infrastructure ecosystem."
The funding, touted as the single largest for the logistics industry in China, comes at a time when the logistics arm is expanding its presence across the country and Southeast Asian markets. Media reports last month said JD.com is seeking a listing for the logistics arm.
"JD Logistics will not rule out the possibility of a listing in future, but there are no concrete plans for now," a JD.com spokesman said separately by email.
-- Hong Kong Newsroom