MTN in talks for billions

MTN is in talks with a group of lenders to secure a $3,5billion (about R28billion) syndicated loan to back its proposed merger with India's Bharti Airtel, sources said.

MTN is in talks with a group of lenders to secure a $3,5billion (about R28billion) syndicated loan to back its proposed merger with India's Bharti Airtel, sources said.

The two telecom companies are in talks over a deal that could lead to a full merger, creating the world's third biggest wireless group with more than 200million subscribers and combined revenue of $20billion (about R160billion).

Analysts said the fact that the company was seeking financing may indicate the talks are progressing ahead of a July 31 deadline.

"This shows an intent on MTN's part to ensure that they fulfill the conditions necessary for the proposed merger to go ahead," Chris Wood, a fund manager at Prudential Portfolio Managers, said.

MTN shares shares closed 0,35percent higher at R129,90, in line with 0,22percent firmer JSE Top-40 index of blue-chip stocks. - Reuters

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