Business Intelligence on Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism in China

Suning To Buy 27.36% Shares Of Japan's Laox

Chinese electronics retailer Suning has confirmed that the company will buy 66.67 million shares from the Japanese electronics retailer Laox at a price of JPY12 per share.

This is the first time that a Chinese company will acquire a Japanese listed company and it is the first time for a Chinese home appliances chain to enter the overseas market.

Suning will invest JPY800 million, in this acquisition. After the completion of the transaction, Suning will become the largest shareholder of the Japanese company with a 27.36% stake and the company will assign two directors, the executive vice president for Suning's marketing headquarters Wang Zhe, and the executive president for Suning's chain development headquarters Jiang Yong, to join the board of directors of Laox.

According to Sun Weimin, the president of Suning, this is a new departure for Suning and an investment with appropriate scale and controllable risk. He said that strictly speaking, the acquisition of Laox is only capital internationalization. According to the company's former plan, it was to open its first store outside of the mainland in Hong Kong and gradually expand in the overseas market. Suning's first store in Hong Kong is expected to be opened in the second half of 2009.

As to whether the company will open chain stores in Japan, Sun said if the company decides to develop the Japanese market, Laox will be a good platform.

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