Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Hillhouse in talks to buy Uber convertible bonds


Hillhouse Capital Management (高瓴資本管理) is in talks to buy Uber Technologies Inc bonds that can be converted into shares of the car-booking company, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Uber, based in San Francisco, is finalizing a deal to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of convertible bonds to investors, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the terms are confidential.

Hong Kong-based Hillhouse chief executive Zhang Lei (張磊) did not immediately reply to text messages seeking comment.

Huang Xue (黃雪), a Beijing-based spokeswoman for Uber, declined to comment on the sale, which was reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier yesterday.

Hillhouse, founded in 2005 with US$30 million from the Yale University endowment, can invest in public and privately held companies globally. Last year, it raised US$2.2 billion for private-equity investments. The fundamental equity manager now oversees about US$20 billion.

It has made a name for itself backing companies using Internet and mobile technology to deliver traditional products and services.

It was an early shareholder in Tencent Holdings Ltd (騰訊), Asia’s second-biggest Internet company, and a pre-initial public offering investor in Inc (京東), China’s second-largest e-commerce company.

More recently, it invested in Didi Kuaidi (滴滴快的), a Chinese rival to Uber, and CarDekho, the Indian car portal, according to Hillhouse’s Web site.

Uber is negotiating a US$2 billion credit line from a group of Wall Street banks. It raised US$1.6 billion in convertible debt at the beginning of the year from Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s wealth-management clients, valuing the company at US$40 billion, one of the highest for a closely held technology startup.

Uber was in talks to raise US$600 million from hedge funds and international strategic investors to add to that amount, people told Bloomberg News in January.

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