Bharti and MTN deal not finalised yet

TALKS between India's Bharti Airtel and MTN that could eventually lead to a full merger of the two firms have not been finalised yet, an Indian government minister said yesterday.

TALKS between India's Bharti Airtel and MTN that could eventually lead to a full merger of the two firms have not been finalised yet, an Indian government minister said yesterday.

"No sir," corporate affairs minister Salman Khurshid said in a written reply to a question in Parliament on whether the deal had been finalised or signed.

The minister noted any proposal to change the equity shareholding of the company would need government approval.

Bharti and MTN revived merger talks in May, a year after previous talks broke down over who would control a merged entity. A merger would create an emerging markets giant with more than 200million customers across India, Africa and the Middle East.

The exclusive talks over the deal, which would see MTN and its shareholders taking a 36percent economic interest in Bharti and the Indian firm ending up with 49percent in MTN, are due to end today.

MTN's second-largest investor said earlier this week the South African firm was likely to reach an agreement with Bharti by the end of next month. - Reuters

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