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China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is apparently seeking $4 billion in debt financing to buy the 40 percent stake in Alibaba currently owned by iconic web company Yahoo.

The news was revealed after Alibaba’s debt adviser Rothschild sent out term sheets to banks, according to a Reuters report that cites people familiar with the matter.

Alibaba, a privately owned group of web-based businesses, is well-known for its online marketplaces for business-to-business international and domestic trade. The Alibaba Group also includes retail and payment platforms, a shopping search engine and data-centric cloud computing services. It employs over 22,000 people in around 70 cities and regions.

While some analysts estimate Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba is worth up to $9 billion, Yahoo is currently exploring the idea of selling the entire company — meaning Yahoo might accept Alibaba’s $4 billion offer. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma (pictured) expressed interest in buying Yahoo in October, but now it appears the company is focused on Alibaba itself.

Meanwhile, several other companies are rumored to be interested in purchasing Yahoo. As VentureBeat reported in November, Microsoft signed a nondisclosure agreement with Yahoo to take a closer look at its financial records, which could indicate the possibility of an acquisition. And in October, search engine giant Google was exploring the idea of a Yahoo buyout.

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