Alibaba’s Lazada Buys Singapore Web Grocer Backed by Saverin

Lazada Group SA has agreed to buy Singaporean online grocer RedMart, in the latest expansion for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. beyond its Chinese home turf.

Lazada, which Alibaba took control of this year in its largest overseas acquisition to date, said RedMart will continue to operate independently but the pair will share technology and operational infrastructure. It didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, which it expects to close before the end of 2016.

RedMart -- backed by Facebook Inc. billionaire co-founder Eduardo Saverin -- was said to have sought a buyer to help it fend off intensifying competition in its home city. The startup, which delivers products ranging from fresh dragonfruit to frozen dumplings, was said to have reached out to potential buyers including Singaporean supermarket chain NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd. to gauge their interest.

The Singapore company founded in 2011 had raised tens of millions of dollars from investors including Garena, Southeast Asia’s biggest tech startup, Saverin and SoftBank Ventures Korea. Lazada’s acquisition gives Alibaba another important asset in a key international market, as it begins to expand its core e-commerce business beyond China.

— With assistance by Joyce Koh

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