(Corrects to delete reference to Hony as private equity arm of Lenovo Group in second graf)
HONG KONG Feb 12 (Reuters) - Chinese buyout firm Hony Capital is in advanced talks to join Baring Private Equity Asia consortium's $2.8 billion bid for online gaming company Giant Interactive Group Inc, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Hony Capital is in discussions to invest in an equity tranche of up to $500 million to partly fund the acquisition, the people added.
The buyout consortium comprising Giant's chairman Shi Yuzhu and Baring Private Equity needs around $1.5 billion to buy the 52.8 percent of Giant they do not already own. The consortium is also raising an underwritten loan to finance the buyout, Thomson Reuters publication Basis Point reported on Wednesday.
An external spokesman for Baring declined to comment, as did a Giant Interactive spokesman and Hony spokeswoman. Sources declined to be identified as the discussions are private. (Additional reporting by Paul Carsten in BEIJING and Prakash Chakravarti of IFR/LPC; Reporting by Stephen Aldred; Editing by Denny Thomas and Richard Borsuk)