SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Tencent Holdings Ltd is seeking a loan of up to $2 billion, part of a flurry of fund-raising by the country's Internet giants, two people involved in the financing told Thomson Reuters LPC, a loan-focused news service.
The plan adds to a $2.45 billion loan that Tencent, best known for its WeChat mobile app, closed in December, said the sources, declining to be identified as they were not authorized to speak about the matter.
Tencent has been spending heavily of late, investing in a sprawling array of businesses. These include gaming, intellectual property rights for entertainment, cloud computing and online financing, as well as investments in start-ups engaged in cash-fueled wars for market share.
Baidu Inc, China's dominant Internet search firm, said this month it seeking a $1 billion loan, while e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group Holding Ltd last month said it had secured a $3 billion five-year loan.
The sources said Tencent was seeking a bullet loan of between $1.5 billion and $2 billion for general corporate purposes. In a bullet loan, the principal is repaid at the end of the term.
They added that it is expected to use the same group of banks as the previous loan - ANZ, Bank of China (Hong Kong), Citigroup, HSBC and Mizuho Bank - which were the mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners. The previous loan attracted 14 other lenders.
A Tencent spokeswoman declined to comment.
Citigroup, Mizuho and ANZ declined to comment. Bank of China and HSBC did not respond to requests for comment.
Tencent's net cash fell from 22.8 billion yuan at the end of 2014 to 19.1 billion yuan at the end of 2015. During the same period, capital expenditure leaped by almost two-thirds to 7.7 billion yuan.
(Reporting by Prakash Chakravarti at IFR/Basis Point; Additional reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee in HONG KONG and Paul Carsten in BEIJING; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)