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Freshfields, W&C secure $8 bin financing for Alibaba

Freshfields-Bruckhaus-DeringerBy Kenishk Verghese, Reuters From Asia. Legal Business on line

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised China’s Alibaba Group on a financing of $8 billion to refinance its existing debts.

White & Case advised the nine underwriters on the transaction-ANZ, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, DBS Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Mlzuho Corporate Bank and Morgan Stanley.

The White & Case team was led by Hong Kong partners John Hartley and Eugene Man, while partner John Shum advised Citicorp International as agent and security agent on the financing.

King & Wood Mallesons acted as PRC counsel to the underwriters. Walkers and Maples and Calder provided both Cayman and BVI advice to the underwriters and Alibaba Group respectively.

Alibaba Is expected to use the proceeds to refinance $4 billion In loans put In place last year as well as fund Its obligations under a $7.1billion share buyback dealIt struck with Yahoo Inc last May.

The buyback, agreed on by Alibaba and Yahoo on May 211astyear,will cost $7.1billion and will be funded by $6.3 billion In cash and $800 million  through a new Issue of preferred stock by Alibaba to Yahoo.

The $4 billion in loans completed last year comprised a $1billion four-year facility signed In July by eight banks, and three other loans of $1billion each signed In June.

The $4 billion in loans last year funded the privatisation of Hong Kong-listed and financed the buyback of half of the 40 percent stake Yahoo held In Alibaba.

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