Chinese internet giant Alibaba has made another major media acquisition by purchasing a $1.22bn stake in online video giant Youku Tudou.
Alibaba and associate Yunfeng Capital will acquire a combination of existing shares and newly issue equity in Youku Tudou, which is listed on the New York stock exchange. Following the deal, Alibaba will hold a 16.5% stake in Youku Tudou, while Yunfeng holds 2%. Alibaba CEO Jonathan Lu will join Youku Tudou’s board of directors.
“We are very pleased to have Alibaba as our strategic investor. Alibaba’s investment will strengthen Youku Tudou as China’s largest online video platform and further differentiate our services and user experience,” said Youku Tudou chairman and CEO Victor Koo (pictured).
Soon to launch an IPO in New York, Alibaba recently acquired film and TV producer-distributor ChinaVision and a stake in internet TV group Wasu Media, as well as launching crowd-funding site Yu Le Bao, which enables Chinese netizens to make micro-investments in upcoming movies via their smart phones.
Alibaba, Yunfeng and Ma also have stakes in Hong Kong’s Media Asia and Beijing-based Huayi Brothers.
“We are excited to cooperate and work closely with Victor and his team to support their innovation in this key emerging space as well as accelerate our digital entertainment and video content strategy,” said Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma.