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

Reuters News
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Posted: May 08, 2015 2:50 AM

MUMBAI (Reuters) - China's Alibaba Group Holding <BABA.N> is in talks with India's Micromax Informatics <IPO-MINF.NS> to buy a share of about 20 percent 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 $1.2 billion, valuing Micromax, the second-biggest smartphone brand in India by sales, at $5 billion to $6 billion, two of the sources said.

Micromax has also been in talks with investors led by Japan's SoftBank Corp <9984.T> to sell a stake of roughly 20 percent, raising up to $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 authorized to speak to the media about ongoing deal negotiations. Micromax, SoftBank and Alibaba declined to comment.

(Reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Sumeet Chatterjee and Indulal PM in Mumbai; Additional reporting by Teppei Kasai in TOKYO and John Ruwitch in SHANGHAI; Editing by Clara Ferreira Marques)