Deals

Alibaba.com to go private, raising funds to buy back its stock

Above: Alibaba CEO Jack Ma

Alibaba Group is raising $3 billion — not to buy back the 40 percent stake Yahoo holds in the parent company, as previously rumored, but to buy back the 27 percent of Alibaba.com stock currently floating around the public market.

Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (pictured above) is attempting to take the company private in order to strengthen his control of the company, Reuters reports today.

The company recently suspended public trading of its stock pending the release of a statement that a company spokesperson said would be price-sensitive.

Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ANZ, DBS Bank, and Mizuho Corporate Bank have each pledged $500 million in loans to facilitate the deal, totaling $3 billion for Alibaba.com to become a private company again.

Currently, parent company Alibaba Group owns 73 percent of Alibaba.com, and Yahoo owns 40 percent of Alibaba Group. Yahoo was reportedly attempting to sell back its stake in Alibaba Group and a couple other Asian web powerhouses, a deal that would have left Yahoo with much-needed focus on domestic products and around $17 billion in cash.

However, those talks fell apart last week. As Yahoo’s board chair Roy Bostock noted in an open letter on the negotiations, “The complexity and unique nature of these transactions is significant. While we continue to devote significant resources to these discussions, we are not in a position at this time to provide further detail or to provide assurance that any transaction will be achieved.”

The Alibaba.com stock buy-back is reportedly unrelated to the Yahoo deal, Reuters’ anonymous sources said.