Bloomberg News

Alibaba’s Yahoo! Lead Bank Group Said to Seek Chinese Lenders

January 06, 2012

Jan. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The four banks preparing an about $4 billion loan for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are seeking to attract Chinese lenders into the lead group to help arrange and underwrite the facility, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Credit Suisse Group AG, DBS Bank Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. are arranging the loan, three people familiar with the matter said on Dec. 15. The size of the loan is too large for the four to underwrite among themselves, said the person who spoke today, declining to be identified because the details are private.

The banks aim to expand the size of the lead group to a total of five to eight lenders to spread the risk of the facility, another person said yesterday.

Alibaba and Softbank Corp. are considering acquisition options related to Yahoo! Inc., the largest U.S. internet portal, three other people familiar with the matter said on Dec. 1. Yahoo owns about 40 percent of Alibaba, the top e-commerce site in China, and 35 percent of Yahoo Japan Corp.

Alibaba may seek to buy back the stake Yahoo owns, while Softbank may seek to acquire the stake in Yahoo Japan, one of those three people said last month. Alibaba and Softbank are also considering a full buyout of Yahoo and are in talks with Blackstone Group LP and Bain Capital LLC about making a bid for the whole company, the three people said on Dec. 1.

--Editor: Katrina Nicholas

To contact the reporter on this story: Wendy Mock in Hong Kong at wmock3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shelley Smith at ssmith118@bloomberg.net


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