(Adds details on loan, Alibaba no comment)
SHANGHAI, March 10 China's Alibaba Group Holding
Ltd on Thursday said it has signed a deal for a $3
billion five-year loan, which will help the e-commerce giant as
it snaps up stakes in companies within China and overseas.
Alibaba, led by founder Jack Ma, has been expanding in areas
beyond its core e-commerce base, such as online video, as volume
growth in its online shopping business slows.
The firm said in a filing to the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) that it had signed the syndicated loan
deal with a group of eight lead arrangers. It added that the
amount could increase if there was steep demand.
"The loan, which is subject to upsize through
oversubscriptions in syndication, has a five-year bullet
maturity and is priced at 110 basis points over LIBOR," the
company said in the filing, referring to the benchmark interest
rate used by many global banks when making loans.
Alibaba added that the loan would be used for "general
corporate purposes", without expanding on what this meant. A
China-based Alibaba spokesman declined to comment further.
The U.S.-listed firm has been on something of a spending
spree of late: its capital expenditure in the last three months
of 2015 was 4.9 billion yuan ($752 million), more than triple
the level in the same period in 2014.
Thomson Reuters LPC, which reports on global loan markets,
cited sources on Tuesday saying Alibaba had mandated eight banks
for a bullet loan of $3 billion to $4 billion.
The sources said ANZ, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche
Bank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Mizuho Bank and Morgan Stanley
were the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners on the loan.
The Wall Street Journal cited sources last month saying
Alibaba was in talks with several banks to borrow up to $4
billion to fund expansion plans, including acquisitions.
($1 = 6.5155 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Additional reporting by John
Ruwitch in SHANGHAI and Paul Carsten in BEIJING; Editing by