Alibaba will spin off its logistics arm Cainiao in an IPO in Hong Kong


HONG KONG (AP) — Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba said Tuesday that it would spin off its logistics arm, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, making it the first business unit to go public following a major restructuring.

Alibaba said in a filing that it had submitted a spin-off proposal to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and that it has received confirmation to proceed.

Alibaba will continue to be a majority shareholder in Cainiao, holding over 50% of the company and retaining it as a subsidiary. The company currently owns nearly a 70% stake in Cainiao, Alibaba’s main delivery arm that handles logistics and parcels for merchants both in China and abroad.

The move comes about six months after Alibaba first announced that it would split its business into six different units.

Apart from its main e-commerce business, the other five business units, which include logistics and cloud computing, will be allowed to raise external capital or spun off to go public in order to provide flexibility and maximize shareholder value.

The Cainiao IPO would be the first of Alibaba’s business units to undergo an initial public offering.

The firm recently saw a change in leadership, with new CEO Eddie Wu taking over the reins earlier this month from Daniel Zhang.

Zhang, who originally stepped down as CEO to focus on heading Alibaba’s cloud division, has also left his position at Alibaba Cloud to start a new investment fund backed by Alibaba.

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