Bharti-MTN extend exclusive talks period till Aug 31
New Delhi: Telecom firm Bharti Airtel on Monday
said it has extended the exclusive talk period with
South Africa-based MTN for a potential transaction till August
31, as talks are still inconclusive.
Bharti had announced on May 25, that it has entered into
exclusive talks with MTN for exploring a potential transaction
in share-swap and cash deal to create a USD 23-billion
entity. But the period for exclusive talks between them
expired on July 31.
"As discussions between the parties regarding the
potential transaction are continuing, both parties have agreed
to extend the exclusivity period up to August 31, 2009,"
Bharti said in a statement.
As per the proposal, Bharti would acquire 49 percent
shareholding in MTN and in turn MTN and its shareholders would
acquire about 36 percent economic interest in the Indian
To a query on reasons for extending the talks, a Bharti
spokesperson declined to elaborate.
"No decisions or agreement to acquire any share or
implement the transactions have been made by the boards of
either Bharti or MTN and the discussion may or may not lead to
any transaction," the statement said.
"The structure and terms of the potential transaction may
be adjusted to reflect further discussion between the
Bharti and MTN had agreed to discuss the potential
transaction with one another until July 31, 2009. The
potential transaction would create a leading telecom service
provider with a combined revenue of over USD 20 billion and
combined customer base of over 20 million.