Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal and his Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) have seen combined investment in Chinese online retailer Jingdong (JD.com) grow by 130 per cent after the firm’s IPO last week, a statement said.
JD.com, in which KHC and its chairman Prince Alwaleed hold an equally combined stake of 2.5 per cent, launched an initial public offering on the Nasdaq on May 22, 2014. The online retailer raised $1.8 billion in its US share sale at the price of $19 per share.
KHC and Prince Alwaleed acquired the stake in JD.com for a combined value of $250 million last year, the statement from KHC said.
JD.com, which saw annual sales of over $20 billion last year, is one of the biggest Chinese internet companies to list in New York.
“This investment is in line with KHC’s diversified and unique investment strategy following Kingdom Holding and Prince Alwaleed’s combined investment in Twitter,” the statement added. KHC invested $300 million in Twitter in December 2011, the value of which rose sharply after the social networking site’s IPO last year.
Prince Alwaleed said: “Our deal solidifies the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and China. The acquisition is also an extension of the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to support the business alliance between Saudi Arabia and The People’s Republic of China.
“This was highlighted during the visit of the then Chinese President Hu Jintao to Saudi Arabia.”
Richard Liu, founder and CEO of JD.com, added, “We appreciate Kingdom’s support and we look forward to a long lasting and constructive relationship.”
China is seeing a massive boom in e-commerce, with revenue from the industry expected to increase by 64 per cent this year, according to projections by digital researcher EMarketer. JD.com claims to have a market share of 46.5 per cent.