By Robin Wauters
Currently a beleaguered takeover target sans visionary CEO (although one could argue recently fired Carl Bartz never served that role either), Asian e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group (OTC:ALBCF) is apparently going to great lengths to re-acquire the stake Yahoo has in the company.
According to Reuters, Alibaba is seeking up to $4 billion in debt financing to bankroll buying back Yahoo’s 40 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce behemoth.
Sources tell Reuters that financial advisory group Rothschild has delivered term sheets to banks, requesting underwritten proposals for the debt financing with a term of up to three years. One source said the term sheet involves commitments of $1 billion with an expected final hold of $400 million.
Alibaba is also one of the partners of a consortium that is plotting to swallow Yahoo whole, and founder Jack Ma recently said at an industry event that he would indeed be “very interested” in acquiring the global Internet giant.
According to a recent report from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Alibaba has engaged in talks with Softbank, Blackstone Group and Bain Capital about making a bid for Yahoo.
Other bidders include a group formed by Silver Lake, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Andreessen Horowitz in addition to a partnership between TPG and Greylock Partners. To be continued, no doubt.