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Alibaba Said to Send Bank Syndication Invitations This Week

Alibaba Said to Send Bank Syndication Invitations This Week
People walk through Ltd.'s headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, on Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. Photographer: Nelson Ching/Bloomberg

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. plans to send e-mails to a select group of banks this week inviting them to participate in $3 billion of loans, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Some of the proceeds will be used to help take the borrower’s Hong Kong-listed unit, Ltd., private, and the invitation letters mark the beginning of the formal senior syndication process, the person said, asking not to be identified because the details are private.

Alibaba Group, run by billionaire Jack Ma, offered HK$13.50 ($1.74) a share for the 27 percent it doesn’t already own in, according to a Feb. 21 regulatory filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Ma is seeking to buy out minority shareholders four years after a $1.7 billion initial public offering as the unit warned of slowing earnings growth tied to a change in strategy.

John Spelich, a Hong Kong-based spokesman at Alibaba, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the start of senior syndication when contacted at his office today.

Alibaba Group signed the loan to finance the planned deal with arrangers Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Credit Suisse Group AG, DBS Bank Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG, HSBC Holdings Plc and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd., according to last month’s filing.

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