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Alibaba eyes stake in phone maker Micromax to grow in India - sources

Friday, May 8, 2015 - 14:44
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China's Alibaba Group Holding is in talks with India's Micromax Informatics to buy a share of about 20 per cent in the smartphone maker, helping the e-commerce giant roll out services and expand its presence in India, several sources with direct knowledge said.

[MUMBAI] China's Alibaba Group Holding is in talks with India's Micromax Informatics to buy a share of about 20 per cent in the smartphone maker, helping the e-commerce giant roll out services and expand its presence in India, several sources with direct knowledge said.

The deal, if completed, would see Alibaba investing as much as US$1.2 billion, valuing Micromax, the second-biggest smartphone brand in India by sales, at US$5 billion to US$6 billion, two of the sources said.

Micromax has also been in talks with investors led by Japan's SoftBank Corp to sell a stake of roughly 20 per cent, raising up to US$1 billion, Reuters reported in March. Those discussions have hit a roadblock over differences in valuation expectations, sources told Reuters this week.

All the sources involved in the process declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media about ongoing deal negotiations. Micromax, SoftBank and Alibaba declined to comment.

REUTERS