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UPDATE 1-Gojek and Tokopedia close to creating Indonesian tech champion -sources

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SINGAPORE, April 9 (Reuters) - Indonesian ride-hailing and payments company Gojek and the country’s leading e-commerce business Tokopedia are close to sealing their proposed merger as they prepare to seek formal shareholder approval, three sources close to the matter told Reuters on Friday.

A deal that sources have previously pegged at $18 billion would create a technology powerhouse offering online shopping, courier services, ride-hailing, food delivery and other services in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

Alibaba Group Holding and SoftBank Group Corp are among Tokopedia’s investors, while Gojek’s include Warburg Pincus and Tencent Holdings.

Reuters reported in January that Gojek and Tokopedia were in advanced merger talks ahead of a potential dual listing in Jakarta and the United States.

If shareholder approval is received, the decade-old startups would then move to completing the transaction a few weeks later, one of the sources said on Friday.

“The terms of the deal have all been agreed. This brings together two companies which didn’t compete with each other,” another source said.

The sources declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Gojek and Tokopedia declined comment.

Common investors in Gojek and Tokopedia include Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, Sequoia Capital and Google .

A successful deal could transform the landscape in Indonesia’s e-commerce market, the growth of which has accelerated as stay-at-home pandemic restrictions have stoked demand for food delivery and e-payments.

The proposed deal also comes at a time of growing investor interest in Southeast Asia’s rapidly-growing tech sector.

Grab, the region’s biggest ride-hailing and food delivery company, is in talks to go public through a merger with a U.S. special purpose acquisition company, sources said last month.

Singapore-based Sea is also muscling into food delivery and financial services in Indonesia. (Reporting by Anshuman Daga Editing by Jason Neely and David Goodman)