Tencent in talks to raise $2b syndicated loan to fund acquisitions for expansion

Tencent company name is displayed at a news conference in Hong Kong, China March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

Tencent Holdings Ltd., Asia’s biggest Internet company, is speaking with banks about getting a syndicated loan of as much as $2 billion as it expands operations and pushes ahead with acquisitions, people familiar with the matter said.

The Chinese firm, which operates the WeChat and QQ instant message systems, is seeking a five-year facility of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private. The financing is separate from a five-year loan of $2.45 billion it worked out with banks last year, the people said.

Tencent’s billionaire Chairman Ma Huateng is building WeChat into an all-purpose platform for e-commerce and is investing billions of dollars in startups providing services from food delivery to movie ticketing. China’s Internet giants are providing a haven for investors fleeing mounting default risks among state-owned enterprises. Baidu Inc., owner of China’s biggest search engine, is seeking a $1 billion loan, it said earlier this week.

Tencent spokeswoman Canny Lo declined to comment.

The firm, based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, is expected to start inviting more banks to participate in the loan as early as next week, the people said. The mandate for the facility will involve five or six banks, according to the people.

It comes after Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the nation’s biggest e-commerce company, started to syndicate a loan of as much as $4 billion last month, separate people said at the time.

Also read:

WeChat payments rocket as China’s Tencent rides gaming wave

Tencent invests in Chinese nip-tuck app SoYoung in $50m round

Apple Pay launches in China, takes on entrenched rivals Alibaba and Tencent

Bloomberg News

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.