After previously joining an investor group eager to get its hands on Momo (MOMO) - Get Momo Inc Sponsored ADR Class A Report, Alibaba Group (BABA) - Get Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Sponsored ADR Reportnow appears to have decided to sell its stake for a huge profit.
Near the end of 2015 Alibaba teamed up with other investors including Sequoia Capital China and Matrix Partners China intent on acquiring Momo.
Momo had raised $216 million in an initial public offering in December 2014. Alibaba and 58.com (WUBA) - Get 58.com Inc. Sponsored ADR Class A Report also staked the company $50 million and $10 million respectively in concurrent private investments. Alibaba had also invested in Momo before it went public.
Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai ended up on Momo's board, and Momo's stock price fluctuated as the prospects of the acquisition ebbed and flowed in the spring of 2016.
The acquisition plans eventually melted down.
In March 2016 regulatory filings indicated that Alibaba had a 20.2% equity stake in Momo.
More recently that stake about 2% according to FactSet.
Now Alibaba has liquidated most of its shares, likely netting around $1 billion, according to an April 28 report from China Money Network. Regulatory filings indicate Alibaba has definitely been selling in April.
"Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has netted at least $1 billion in proceeds by selling most of its shares of location-based social networking mobile app firm Momo Inc.," according to a report from China Money Network.
"As Momo's share price jumped by 137% over the past 12 months, Alibaba has quickly dumped shares."
China Money Network says that based on Momo's price movement over the last year and Alibaba's recent sales, Alibaba likely turned a nice profit.
"The divestment locks in a net gain of at least 50-times the e-commerce company's initial investment."
Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.
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