June 27, 2018 / 7:25 PM / 5 months ago

Naspers puts Brazil e-commerce unit Buscapé on the block -sources

SAO PAULO, June 27 (Reuters) - South African media and tech group Naspers Ltd has decided to put its Brazilian e-commerce business Buscapé up for sale, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Naspers hired the investment banking unit of Citigroup Inc to sell its entire stake in Buscapé, although it has not decided yet on a deal format, according to one of the sources, who requested anonymity to discuss the deal freely.

Buscapé and Citi declined to comment on a potential sale. Naspers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

After accumulating investments in several price comparison services, Naspers has been selling them as part of a strategy to focus its portfolio on classifieds, food delivery and financial technology startups, or fintechs.

In May, Naspers sold its minority stake in India's largest e-commerce marketplace to U.S.-based retailer Walmart Inc for $2.2 billion.

The South African group previously tried to sell Buscapé in 2015, but the offers it got were below the $342 million it paid in 2009 for a 91 percent stake in the Brazilian firm offering price comparison, advertising and fraud control services.

This time, Naspers intends to get a higher valuation for Buscapé after restructuring the business since 2017 to offer a marketplace where shoppers can make purchases in addition to comparing the best prices on other sites, the same source said.

In a statement to Reuters, Buscapé said it sells 2 million products on its marketplace.

The rest of the Naspers portfolio in Brazil includes fintech Creditas Soluções Financeiras Ltda, online food delivery platform iFood and children's entertainment platform PlayKids. (Reporting by Carolina Mandl Editing by Brad Haynes and Cynthia Osterman)

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