Bharti Airtel and South Africa's MTN on Thursday said they were extending their talks for a proposed $23-billion financial alliance till Sep 30, with no final pact in sight even as the revised deadline of Aug 31 approaches.
"Discussions between the parties regarding the potential transaction continue to progress satisfactorily and the parties have accordingly agreed to extend the exclusivity period until September 30, 2009," Bharti Airtel said in a regulatory statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
The company also said no decision had been made to acquire any shares and the discussions may not lead to any transaction.
Bharti proposes to buy 36 per cent of the South African company by offering shareholders half a Bharti share, whereas MTN will get a 25 percent stake in Bharti for $2.9 billion and through issuing new shares equal to 25 percent of its share capital.
Both Bharti and MTN have over 100 million subscribers and the deal will make the combined entity among the top five telecom service companies in the world, with annual revenues of $20 billion.