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Bharti, MTN merger talks extended
Published on 20 Aug. 2009 11:44 PM IST
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Bharti Airtel and South Africa’s MTN Group have extended until Sept 30 their exclusive talks aimed at merging their operations to create the world’s third-largest mobile operator. It was the second extension to the talks, which were first announced in late May. The companies had earlier extended the exclusive talks by a month to Aug. 31. Bharti Airtel said in a statement discussions with MTN continued to progress satisfactorily. “No decision or agreement to acquire any shares or implement the potential transaction outlined above has yet been made by either either of the boards,” it said. Bharti and MTN had 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 200 million customers across India, Africa and the Middle East. The exclusive talks over the deal, which would see each firm pay cash and stock for a stake in the other, were initially due to end on July 31. Under the initial terms, MTN and its shareholders would take 36 per cent economic interest in Bharti and the Indian firm would end up with 49 per cent of MTN.

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