MTN team in India for Bharti talks

THE intended $3billion (R23billion) marriage between MTN and India's Bharti Airtel appears to be well under way, although the two companies may miss the July 31 exclusivity deadline.

THE intended $3billion (R23billion) marriage between MTN and India's Bharti Airtel appears to be well under way, although the two companies may miss the July 31 exclusivity deadline.

India's Economic Times reported yesterday that a three-member team from MTN was meeting with Indian officials to seek clarity on what rights MTN and its shareholders would get for holding a 36percent economic interest in Bharti.

MTN remained tight-lipped about the progress of the negotiations.

Various other media reported that a delegation from the Public Investment Corporation, which is MTN's largest shareholder with a 13,5percent stake, had also gone to India.

Vunani securities ICT analyst Kate Turner-Smith said the fact that MTN had asked for $3,5billion to finance the deal instead of the initial $2,9billion was an indication that negotiations were progressing. - Zweli Mokgata

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