eCommerce

Alibaba Reportedly After $4B Bank Loan

Alibaba is reportedly after a $4 billion loan from banks as it seeks backing for its expansion plans, according to unnamed sources who spoke to The Wall Street Journal.

The news hints at what’s next for the Internet giant, which could include further acquisitions that Alibaba may want to get its hands into, the sources said. This follows Alibaba’s recent surge of spending — somewhere in the billions — on major expansion/acquisition plans in its home country of China — and abroad.

Sources have indicated that Alibaba was initially after a $3 billion loan, but recent updates indicate that was bumped to $4 billion. The loan could be finalized as soon as next month, one source said.

Alibaba’s most recent publicized investment was its 5.6 percent stake in the Groupon — a company that today (Feb. 26) announced the sale of its billionth deal. Speculation in the financial media has centered on whether Groupon may be a strategic investment or whether Alibaba may, in fact, be looking to take the company, lock, stock and barrel, through complete ownership.

Another scenario for the two companies would involve Alibaba boosting its stake, with a conversation opening up between the companies leading up to a joint venture. A joint venture would give Alibaba access to Groupon’s insight into building a discount buying platform.

Alibaba also had a major $1 billion investment in Koubei, a food-ordering app, last year. This investment gave Alibaba a bigger presence in services that bring together consumers and restaurants who embrace the concept of on-demand apps. Not long after, Alibaba invested roughly $4.5 billion into Suning Commerce, an electronics retailer, in order to invest more in the logistics side of retail.

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