Founder of Alibaba Seeks Stake in SCMP

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By Jacob Maslow

Alibaba (NYSE:BABA)  is hoping to increase the company’s media holdings with Jack Ma, executive chairman and founder, interested in buying a stake in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. According to reports, discussions are in the advanced stage, but no details have been provided on the size of the stake, or the financial information regarding the stock.

The company was recently linked to $194 million purchase of China Business News in June.

A premier English-language broadsheet, the company has remained in the hands of Robert Kuok since 1993 when he purchased a large stake from Rupert Murdoch.

Both SCMP and Jack Ma have failed to comment on the acquisition. Ma has stated that he is interested in a variety of companies right now, but would not elaborate on SCMP. Several large CEOs have recently purchased newspapers, including Jeff Bezos from who purchased the Washington Post in 2013.

SCMP, despite its popularity, has struggled to profit in the past three years and has seen profit declines. The company was suspended from trading in 2013 as a result of less than 25% of the company being held by minority investors. Not meeting the criteria for trading, the 112-year-old company is likely to welcome Ma and the cash infusion he could bring to the brand.

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