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Alibaba takes control of film group in HK$1.25 billion share purchase

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By Reuters
Alibaba takes control of film group in HK$1.25 billion share purchase
FILE PHOTO: Alibaba Group co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma attends the World Trade Organization (WTO) Forum "Trade 2030" in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo   -   Copyright  Denis Balibouse(Reuters)

BEIJING (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday it will increase its stake in Hong Kong-listed Alibaba Pictures to 51 percent, taking control of the film unit’s board.

Alibaba Pictures will issue one billion new shares to Alibaba at HK$1.25, valuing the exchange at roughly HK$1.25 billion (£125.6 million), the e-commerce firm said.

Currently, Alibaba owns a 49 percent stake in the firm.

“The proposed share purchase is a vote of confidence in Alibaba Pictures, and we will continue to invest resources,” Alibaba chief Daniel Zhang said.

Alibaba Pictures, which listed in 2016, operates under Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment business.

(Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by Stephen Coates)