Hou Yi and Daniel Zhang Jointly Buying Freshippo Is Not True

On April 21, it was reported that Hou Yi, the founder of Freshippo and former CEO of Alibaba Group Holding Limited Daniel Zhang are interested in joining forces to bid for Freshippo, offering $2 billion.

On April 21, it was learned from a source close to Hou Yi that the news is not true. ‘Nonsense, there is no such thing at all. Including the earlier rumors about Freshippo being acquired by COFCO are also nonsense,’ said the person.

In March this year, Freshippo issued a company-wide letter announcing that Hou Yi would retire at the age of 60 and take on the role of Chief Honorary Advisor at Freshippo. Yan Xiaolei, currently CFO of Freshippo, will also serve as CEO. In the company-wide letter, Alibaba Group highly praised Hou Yi for his contributions to the establishment and development of Freshippo.

Freshippo was founded in 2015, and as one of the founders, Hou Yi is well known for his innovation and distinctive personal style. Freshippo has brought digital management to the retail industry, making integrated online and offline operations mainstream. As of now, Freshippo has over 360 stores in 29 cities.

SEE ALSO: CEO of Alibaba’s Grocery Chain Freshippo Shares Views on Europe Trip

However, since the end of last year, there have been frequent rumors about Alibaba selling Freshippo which positions itself as a new retail format.

On March 16th, there was news that within Alibaba, it has been basically confirmed to sell RT-Mart and Freshippo to COFCO. RT-Mart is estimated at about 10 billion yuan, while Freshippo is estimated at about 20 billion yuan. The framework agreement between the two parties has been drafted, with Jack Ma making the final decision internally at Alibaba. In response to the news that “Freshippo and RT-Mart will be sold to COFCO,” both Freshippo and RT-Mart have denied it. Freshippo stated that the sale and price are all false information.

Daniel Zhang, who was rumored to acquire Freshippo with Hou Yi, has found a new job after stepping down as chairman of Alibaba. According to the WeChat public account of Firstred on March 21st, Daniel Zhang will join Firstred and serve as co-managing partner with founder Liu Xiaodan to explore the future of mergers and acquisitions funds together.

Regarding the latest trends, Daniel Zhang said: “I hope that through the vibrant and innovative platform of Firstred, we can focus on the industrial transformation and value chain reshaping brought about by technological development and economic transformation, seize the huge opportunities, base ourselves in China, look globally, integrate our capabilities and resources in corporate management, industrial operations, and capital markets to build core competitiveness for future mergers and acquisitions investments.”