Airtel MTN Talks Still On
Bharti Airtel, India’s largest private telecom player, is still holding talks with South African telecom giant MTN for a possible merger.
"Talks are going on between Bharti Enterprises, the parent of Bharti Airtel, and South Africa's MTN Group to form a global business combination," Akhil Gupta, managing director of Bharti Enterprises, told reporters.
But the details have not yet been reviewed. The companies revived talks in May this year. Earlier this month, the market regulator had permitted Airtel and MTN to go ahead with their proposal to buy each other's shares in a $25 billion deal without the latter having to make an open offer in Indian equities markets.
The talks between the two telecom giants had collapsed earlier after Airtel rejected MTN's proposal that would have made the Indian firm a subsidiary of the South African company. Following that, the South African group had started negotiations with the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, which also failed.
"Bharti and MTN have agreed to discuss the potential transaction exclusively with one another until July 31, 2009," an official statement issued by them earlier had said.