Beijing / Bloomberg
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is seeking a loan of as much as $4 billion from at least eight banks, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The banks are expected to begin marketing a $3 billion loan to other lenders, with the intention of increasing the size depending on demand, the people said.
The loan would be used to fund expansion plans, including acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier today, citing sources it didn’t name. China’s biggest online shopping company has shown an appetite for deals recently as it fends off tightening competition in a slowing economy.
In December, BNP Paribas SA analysts said Alibaba could spend as much as $38 billion in deals this year to take on Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. The three companies were already involved in more than $30 billion of acquisitions announced in 2015 as they expand into so-called online-to-offline services such as delivery and physical retailing.
Alibaba has $11 billion of existing loans and credit lines from banks including Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The company’s existing lenders are among the banks arranging the new facility, said the people, who asked not to be named as the talks are private.
The company has a $2.5 billion term loan and a $1.5 billion revolving credit line that are due April 30, Bloomberg data show.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese e-commerce company that
provides consumer to consumer, business-to-consumer andbusiness-to-business sales services via web
It also provides electronic payment services, ashopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. The group began in 1999 when Jack Ma founded the website Alibaba.com, a business-to-business portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers. In 2012, two of Alibaba’s portals handled 1.1 trillion yuan ($170 billion) in sales.