SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd announced on Tuesday that it has led an investor consortium to buy about 10 percent of Chinese courier ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc for $ 1.38 billion off-line Services.
FILE PHOTO: Employees listen to their supervisor prepare for the upcoming Singles Day shopping festival at a ZTO Express sorting center in Chaoyang district, Beijing, China on November 8, 201
5. REUTERS / Jason Lee  The consortium includes Alibaba's majority-owned logistics subsidiary Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd, Alibaba and ZTO, which were stated in a joint statement without disclosing the identity of other investors. They said they expect the deal to be finalized in June.
The investment would be Alibaba's third in a Chinese courier following the purchase of a minority stake in YTO Express Group Co Ltd and Best Inc.
The e-commerce company has diversified its logistic network at home and abroad diversifying its customer base , As part of this effort, it became the majority shareholder of Cainiao in September, providing logistical support for Alibaba's main e-commerce platform Taobao.
ZTO owns 1 percent of Cainiao, which he co-founded in 2013 with Alibaba and over a dozen other Chinese companies.
ZTO's chairman, Lai Meisong, told Reuters that ZTO and Alibaba could better share resources and help reduce ZTO costs through access to new technologies. He said the couple had decided to reach an agreement to work closer to operations and build trust between affiliates.
FILE PHOTO: A worker unloads parcels from a ZTO Express delivery vehicle in Beijing, China, October 27, 2016. REUTERS / Thomas Peter / File photo
ZTO said Alibaba has a seat on its blackboard becomes.
"This trust will improve the efficiency of our collaboration," Lai said in a telephone interview.
The Shanghai-based ZTO listing of $ 1.4 billion in New York was the United States' largest listing in 2016 and the largest of a Chinese company since Alibaba's IPO in 2014.
ZTO stocks closed at $ 19.30 on Friday, the last trading day, at $ 13.7 billion.
At the beginning of this month, ZTO posted an increase in sales of 36 percent over the previous year. It said it handled 6.2 billion packages in 2017, representing a market share of 15.5 percent, up from 7.6 percent in 2011.
Reporting by Brenda GohEditing by Christopher Cushing