Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer represented Alibaba on the loan, which will be used to refinance the Hangzhou-based company’s existing debt, pay for the buyback of preferred shares from Yahoo! Inc. and for general corporate purposes. Last year, Freshfields also advised Alibaba on its $7.1 billion Yahoo! share buyback deal.
The loan is offered in three tranches— a $1.5 billion three-year revolving credit facility, a $2.5 billion three-year term loan and a $4 billion five-year term loan.
The lenders were Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., Citigroup Global Markets Asia Ltd., Credit Suisse AG, DBS Bank Ltd., Deutsche Bank AG., Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp. Ltd., JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Mizuho Corporate Bank, Ltd. and Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd.
Alibaba is said to be planning an initial public offering in Hong Kong, with a possible dual-listing in the U.S., later this year or in 2014. According to the Wall Street Journal, lending money to the company may be a prerequisite for those banks hoping to work on those listings.
Hong Kong partner John Hartley led White & Case’s team advising the banks, which also included partners Eugene Man and John Shum. King & Wood Mallesons Shanghai partners Jack Wong and Chen Yun advised the banks on Chinese law while Walkers Hong Kong partner Ashley Davies acted as Cayman Islands counsel.
Freshfields Hong Kong partner David Winfield led his firm's team representing Alibaba, which was advised Maples and Calder Hong Kong partner Greg Knowles on Cayman and British Virgin Islands law.