September 18, 2014 / 4:12 AM / 3 years ago

Alibaba in talks with Snapdeal to enter India: Economic Times

People walk at the headquarters of Alibaba in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, April 23, 2014. REUTERS/Chance Chan/Files

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA.N) is in talks with online retailer Snapdeal to enter India, the Economic Times reported on Thursday, citing two people aware of the development.

Alibaba, whose shares are set to debut on the U.S. market on Friday in what could be the world’s largest ever initial public offering, has discussed with Snapdeal a possible investment in the Indian company, but a decision has not been reached yet, the daily reported.

Snapdeal, in which Ratan Tata, the former chairman of India’s salt-to-steel Tata conglomerate, holds a stake, is also attracting attention from Japan’s largest e-commerce company Rakuten Inc (4755.T) and telecommunications firm SoftBank Corp (9984.T), the report said, citing investment banking sources.

Snapdeal spokeswoman said the company does not comment on speculation, while Alibaba was not available for immediate comment when reached by Reuters.

Alibaba increased the price range on its initial public offering to $66 to $68 on Monday, reflecting strong demand from investors for the year’s most anticipated debut.

Reporting by Zeba Siddiqui and Nivedita Bhattacharjee in MUMBAI, and Paul Carsten in BEIJING; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

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