Saudi's Kingdom leads $399m China retail deal

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Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Company said on Saturday it has led a consortium of investors to buy a SR1.5bn ($399m) stake in a Chinese online retail firm.

The investment firm, chaired by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, led the acquisition of the stake in 360buy Jingdong Inc, with Kingdom investing SR470m.

Prince Alwaleed said the deal solidified the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and China.

360buy Jingdong Mall is the biggest consumer electronics online retailer in China.

This online acquisition follows Kingdom Holding's combined investment of $300m in Twitter last year.

In a statement, Ahmed Halawani, Kingdom's executive director, Private Equity and International Investments said: "This deal confirms KHC's expertise to seek rewarding global investment opportunities, and to capitalise on them in light of their potential IRR in order to extract value for KHC shareholders."

He added: "This deal is also 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."

Richard Liu, the founder and CEO of 360buy Jingdong Inc,  said he looked forward to a "long lasting and constructive relationship" with Kingdom Holding.

Kingdom Holding said it has a presence in China via Citibank while Prince Alwaleed's investment in the entertainment sector in China includes Disneyland Hong Kong and in the hotel sector via Four Seasons Hotels and Fairmont Raffles Hotel.

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