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Alibaba Takes Control of Ele.me, at $9.5 Billion Value

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is buying full control of the startup Ele.me as it steps up efforts to expand in China’s fast-growing market for local delivery of food and other services.

The deal implies an enterprise valuation of $9.5 billion for Ele.me, Alibaba said in a statement Monday, without saying how much it’s paying. Alibaba and affiliate Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group Co. already owned about 43 percent of the startup’s voting shares.

Alibaba and Ant Financial were lagging behind Tencent and Meituan in terms of offline penetration, especially local services, said Counterpoint Research analyst Flora Tang.

“Ownership of Ele.me is the fastest and most effective way for Alibaba to regain leadership position in this area to compete with Tencent,” she said.

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