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Alibaba $4 Billion Bank Group Said to Seek More Lenders

The four lead banks preparing a loan for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are considering bringing in as many as four more lenders to help arrange 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 loan may be about $4 billion, one of the people said at the time.

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, said the person who spoke today, declining to be identified because the details are private.

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.

Alibaba hired Washington lobbying firm Duberstein Group Inc. last year as it explored potential transactions involving Yahoo. John Spelich, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for Hangzhou-based Alibaba, declined to comment when contacted today by telephone.

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