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Alibaba tipped to be working on USD 5bn CB offer

Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd [NYSE:BABA] [HKG:9988] is working on a USD 5bn convertible bond offer, according to two market participants.

This news service flagged in a weekly publication on 17 May that Chinese technology stocks trading in the US would be worth keeping an eye on for possible fundraisings, noting that Alibaba is one of the few names that have never issued an equity-linked note.

The Alibaba offer, which according to the first and a third market participant could be launched as soon as Thursday (23 May), will follow a USD 1.75bn CB priced by its rival JD.com [NASDAQ:JD, HKG:9618] this week.

Bankers have been wall-crossing investors on the transaction for the past two days, the participants said.

For now, the deal involves CitiJPMorgan and Morgan Stanley, according to one of the participants.

The Alibaba CB is not a “me too” act, said the second participant. Rather, bankers were pitching to the two platform companies around the same time. Banks involved in the JD.com offer would need to shun the Alibaba deal. As reported, Bank of America was the lead left on the JD.com CB, arranging the deal together with Goldman SachsHaitong International and UBS.

Goldman Sachs in April sold a USD 300m note exchangeable into Alibaba shares.

Alibaba shares traded 2.7% lower at USD 83.77 in the US at 11:47am EDT, up 8% year-to-date. It has, however, rebounded 23% from a 2024 low hit in January.

Requests for comments sent to Alibaba’s media and investor relations teams on the company’s website have received no response. Citi declined to comment. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley’s press relations department did not immediately respond to requests for comment outside of office hours.