By  on June 11, 2014

SHANGHAI —Alibaba Group said Wednesday it is buying out the shares itdoes not already own in mobile browser operator UCWeb Inc. to form the"largest merger" of internet companies in China's history ahead of thee-commerce giant's much-anticipated initial public offering.  

UCWebInc. operates one of the country's most popular mobile internetbrowsers, UC Browser. Alibaba invested in UCWeb in 2009 and 2013,building up a 66 percent stake in the internet company in the form ofconvertible preferred shares.

The acquisition of the remainingshares for an undisclosed price will result in the formation ofAlibaba's UC mobile business group, which will be led by Yu Yongfu, thechairman and chief executive of UCWeb.  The acquisition will "enabledeep synergies between the companies by marrying Alibaba's strengths ine-commerce, cloud computing and big data technology and UCWeb's leadingmarket position and technology in mobile," Alibaba said Wednesday.

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