Davis Polk and Slaughters advise on Alibaba’s $692m investment in Chinese retailer

China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has instructed Slaughter and May for its latest strategic investment in Chinese department store operator Intime Retail, which turned to Davis Polk & Wardwell for advice.

Alibaba has agreed to invest $692m in Hong Kong-listed Intime Retail ahead of its planned IPO in the US this year. The group sought out its regular adviser Slaughter and May for this transaction, led by Hong Kong corporate partner Benita Yu.

Alibaba’s long-standing PRC adviser Fangda Partners was also involved in the deal, with Beijing-based corporate partners Jonathan Zhou and Stephanie Zhu playing a lead role.

Intime, which operates and manages department stores and shopping malls in China, is advised by a Davis Polk team in Hong Kong, led by corporate partner Paul Chow and consists of associates Wilson Chan and Yang Chu.

As part of the deal, Intime will issue shares and convertible bonds to Alibaba, which will give the e-commerce group up to 26 per cent of the stake in Intime. The two will also form a joint venture in China to explore opportunities in the online-to-offline (O2O) business.

The transaction is subject to a number of conditions, including Intime shareholders’ approval.

Alibaba has been on a shopping spree in recent months. Earlier this year, it bought a controlling stake of ChinaVision Media Group for $804, and bought Chinese digital mapping and navigation firm AutoNavi for $1.6bn.

In the latter deal, a take-private transaction of NASDAQ-listed AutoNavi, Alibaba was represented by Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, fielding Hong Kong corporate partner Katie Sudol. AutoNavi’s committee of independent directors was advised by Kirkland & Ellis, led by Hong Kong corporate partner David Zhang.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is also advising Alibaba on its proposed US IPO, while Sullivan & Cromwell is advising the underwriters.