Japanese telco Softbank Corp is leading a team of investors looking to acquire a 20% stake in Indian handset manufacturer Micromax Informatics for up to USD1 billion, according to Reuters citing two people with knowledge of the discussions. If confirmed, the talks would value unlisted Micromax, which provides a range of affordable smartphones and competes with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, at around USD5 billion. However, the sources wished to remain anonymous on account of the nature of the talks. Reuters reports one of the sources as saying that a deal would likely involve the sale of Micromax shares to existing shareholders – raising USD800 million to USD1 billion in the process. The Indian handset maker is still controlled by its founders and includes private equity firms Sequoia Capital and TA Associates among its investors. It launched in the Indian mobile market in 2008 and is widely credited with driving strong take-up of smartphones in the country. Neither Micromax nor Softbank were available for comment when contacted.