Beijing (PingWest)- Alibaba has agreed to acquire a 50 percent stake in Singapore’s AXA tower as the Chinese e-commerce giant ramps up its push into south-east Asia.
Alibaba Singapore, a unit of Alibaba, will purchase the stake in the 50-floor Axa Tower in downturn Singapore from a consortium of investors led by Singapore-listed Perennial Real Estate Holdings.
The property deals worth USD1.68 billion, which is the biggest commercial deal in Asian city-state since 2017.
The Axa Tower is already an office building for a large number of Alibaba employees, it is also the headquarters of Lazada, Alibaba’s Southeast Asia e-commerce platform.
According to an announcement made by Perennial Real Estate, Alibaba will re-develop Axa Tower by expanding the tower for nearly a fifth after the deal closes later this year, the redevelopment would create a landmark in Singapore’s central business district.
Beside office space, AXA Tower has a gross floor area of 1.05 million squire feet, the planned redevelopment will increase the floor area to 1.24 million squire feet.
The purchases of AXA Tower could help Alibaba to expand its business in Singapore, said Nai Jia, deputy director of the Institute of Real Estate & Urban Studies at the National University of Singapore.
“Many technology companies seek to settle in central business districts, but they may be constrained by the availability of space and the level of rents, Nai Jia said.
Like many other Chinese companies, Alibaba has made Singapore the center for their expansion into South-east Asia. Prior the purchases of Axa Tower, Alibaba has taken control of Southeast largest e-commerce platform Lazada after boosting its stake in the company to 83% in 2017. Alibaba is also the second-largest shareholder of logistic company Singapore Post.
“Singapore is an important market for Alibaba Group, this investment in AXA Tower will help fulfil our projected business plans as we continue to strengthen operations in Singapore,” Alibaba Singapore said in a statement.
AXA Tower’s acquisition comes after Singapore government made several announcement that the Singapore should prepare to work from home for a longer period to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.