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Alibaba's Groupon Stake Is Passive, But Chinese Giant Willing To 'Exchange Experiences' With Chicago-Based Company

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Alibaba's Groupon Stake Is Passive, But Chinese Giant Willing To 'Exchange Experiences' With Chicago-Based Company

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA) shares are up 9 percent on Tuesday, while Groupon Inc (NASDAQ: GRPN) is up 40 percent after the former unveiled a 5.6 percent stake in the company.

In an email to Benzinga, an Alibaba spokesman said the company's stake in Groupon is passive in nature, not activist. "We bought a very small minority stake in Groupon in order to share ideas between US and China markets in a space - O2O - that we have experience in in China," he wrote.

Alibaba's Groupon investment is just its latest stake in U.S. tech companies. It is also invested in Lyft, Jet.com and Magic Leap.

Bloomberg reports Groupon's one-day gain was its largest since its 2011 IPO. 

While Groupon itself said it didn't know of Alibaba's stake until the filing, it's possible both sides will work closer together going forward. "[I]f Groupon management would like to exchange experiences with us, we are prepared to share," Alibaba's spokesman added.

Alibaba's market cap of $169.8 billion is about 54 times the size of Groupon's $3.1 billion cap. As of last quarter, Alibaba had about $18 billion in cash and cash equivalents, declared in Chinese renminbis.

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