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Alibaba eyes stake in phone maker Micromax to grow in India

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.

Nivedita Bhattacharjee, Sumeet Chatterjee and Indulal PM         Last Updated: May 8, 2015  | 13:13 IST

China's Alibaba Group Holding is in talks with Micromax Informatics to buy a share of about 20 per cent in the smartphone maker, helping the e-commerce firm 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 to sell a stake of roughly 20 per cent, 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 authorised to speak to the media about ongoing deal negotiations. Micromax, SoftBank and Alibaba declined to comment.

(Additional reporting by Teppei Kasai in Tokyo and John Ruwitch in Shanghai)

(Reuters)

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