Billionaire Alwaleed Buys Stake in 360buy for China Expansion
Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Kingdom Holding Co., the investment company controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, bought a stake in Chinese online retailer 360buy Jingdong Inc. as it boosts investments in fast-growing companies.
Kingdom led a group of investors who took a 1.5 billion- riyal ($400 million) stake in Beijing-based 360buy, according to an e-mailed statement on Feb. 16. Kingdom invested $125 million and Qatar’s QInvest LLC advised on the transaction, it said.
Alwaleed, the world’s 14th-richest person, is investing in e-commerce and technology companies as demand for internet based services increases. The prince also invested $300 million in microblogging service Twitter Inc. in 2011 and holds stakes in companies such as Apple Inc. and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Kingdom has also invested in China in Disneyland and in the hotel industry through Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Raffles.
“This deal is in line with Kingdom Holding’s private- equity investment strategy through selecting high-growth companies potentially seeking to be listed in one of the international capital markets within three years,” Ahmed Halawani, executive director of private equity and international investment at Kingdom Holding, said in the statement.
360buy, which raised $1.5 billion in financing in 2011, describes itself as an online shopping mall and sells products from home appliances to books in the world’s largest Internet market, offering more than 7 million products.
Alwaleed, who holds 95 percent of Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding, has a net worth of $29 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His fortune has surged $8.5 billion since April 2012 as Kingdom Holding shares almost doubled.
--Editors: Dale Crofts, Shaji Mathew