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Alibaba takes control of grocery operator Sun Art in $3.6bn deal

E-commerce conglomerate expands further in hypermarket sector amid pandemic

HONG KONG -- Alibaba Group Holding, China's largest e-commerce company, will take control of domestic hypermarket chain Sun Art Retail Group from its French owner, doubling down on the country's grocery business which has surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alibaba will purchase a 70.9% stake in A-RT Retail, which controls a 51% equity interest in Sun Art, from Auchan Retail for 28 billion Hong Kong dollars ($3.6 billion). The deal will raise Alibaba's indirect and direct stake in the hypermarket chain to about 72%.

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