Alibaba in talks to raise $2.3 billion equity for Yahoo deal: sources

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG Mon May 21, 2012 10:10am EDT

Employees play table tennis inside the headquarters office of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in this May 17, 2010 file photograph. Yahoo Inc shares rose as much as 6.7 percent on May 18, 2012 after a report that it was close to selling part of its valuable stake in the Alibaba Group. Yahoo and Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet group that runs e-commerce site Alibaba.com, are close to an agreement that could happen as soon as Monday, according to a report in All Things D, citing unnamed sources. REUTERS/Steven Shi/Files

Employees play table tennis inside the headquarters office of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province in this May 17, 2010 file photograph. Yahoo Inc shares rose as much as 6.7 percent on May 18, 2012 after a report that it was close to selling part of its valuable stake in the Alibaba Group. Yahoo and Alibaba Group, the Chinese Internet group that runs e-commerce site Alibaba.com, are close to an agreement that could happen as soon as Monday, according to a report in All Things D, citing unnamed sources.

Credit: Reuters/Steven Shi/Files

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SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) - Chinese Internet firm Alibaba Group is in talks with existing shareholders, including Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings TEM.UL, to raise about $2.3 billion in equity to partly finance its deal with Yahoo Inc. (YHOO.O), two sources said.

Entrepreneur Jack Ma is buying back up to half of a 40 percent stake in his Alibaba Group from Yahoo for $7.1 billion, in a deal that moves the Chinese e-commerce leader closer to a public listing.

Alibaba is looking to raise about a third of the $7.1 billion through issuance of equity to shareholders, one of the sources told Reuters.

A second source also confirmed the talks, but said Temasek has not made a final decision on the investment.

Alibaba was not immediately available to comment and a Temasek spokesman declined to comment.

Temasek bought Alibaba Group shares from the Chinese company's employees in September 2011 in a tender offer in which DST Global, Silver Lake and Yunfeng Capital also participated.

(Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Denny Thomas; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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