May 3, 2013 - 09:23 AMT
Chinese internet giant Alibaba obtains $8bn loan

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has obtained an US$8 billion loan from nine banks, The Wall Street Journal reported citing a person with knowledge of the matter.

Alibaba closed the loan deal on April 30, the person said. The nine banks providing the loan are Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, DBS Group Holdings Ltd., HSBC Holdings PLC, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., the person said.

The financing comprises three tranches: a $2.5 billion three-year term loan, a $4 billion five-year term loan and a $1.5 billion three-year revolving credit facility, the person said, according to the Journal.

Alibaba's $8 billion loan, aimed at refinancing existing debts and raising additional funds, comes as bankers are awaiting the company's much-anticipated initial public offering of stock, which could value it at tens of billions of dollars or more. The nine banks involved in the loan arrangement are trying to deepen their relationship with Alibaba in hopes that they will get to play significant roles in the IPO, other people familiar with the situation said.

Alibaba, which operates online shopping sites Taobao and Tmall, is by far the biggest competitor in China's growing e-commerce market. Earlier this week, it announced a $586 million deal to take an 18% stake in Sina Corp.'s Twitter-like Weibo microblog business, as the company tries to adapt its business to capture growth in China's mobile Internet market.