After striking a new deal with the payment processor, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will get atleast $9.4 billion from future value of its finance affiliate. If Alipay or its parent company seek an initial public offering, China’s biggest e-commerce operator will be entitled to the payment. Alibaba also gets the perpetual right to 37.5 percent of the finance arm’s pretax earnings and can buy a stake of about one-third if regulators approve.
Since billionare founder Jack Ma spun off Alipay into a Chinese company in 2011, their relationship with the finance business has been contentious. Alibaba may be headed towards the largest IPO in history, the deal locks in a share of earnings from the payments unit, which has expanded into money markets and controls more than 574 billion yuan of funds.
According to Wang Weidong, an analyst at Shanghai based Internet consultant firm IResearch, ”The financial unit is adding more services and becoming bigger in scale and complete in services.” According to what was said in the US regulatory filing, the new deal will transfer Hangzhou based Alibaba’s small business lending arm to Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co. who is the parent of Alipay, for $518 million in cash and annual fees for seven years. The implications of the sale are that financial service assets will be owned by Chinese nationals instead of global investors that may buy shares in the IPO. Yahoo gave a statement saying that the terms outline in yesterday’s filing were negotiated through collaboration and that it supported the agreement. Softbank Corp. led by Masayoshi Son who owns more than 30 percent of Alibaba seems to think the deal is beneficial for both parties.