Telecom major, Bharti Airtel, is in talks with State Bank of India (SBI) to raise funds for its USD 10.7-billion bid to acquire most of the African assets of Kuwait's Zain Telecom, a top bank official said on Wednesday.
"Bharti is in touch with us," SBI's Chairman, OP Bhatt told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Mumbai.
He declined to give details on the quantum of loan sought by Bharti.
Bharti had also approached State Bank of India for financing last year when the Indian telecom firm was pursuing a deal with South Africa's MTN, which, however, did not go through.
Bharti and Zain are in exclusive talks till March 25 for the proposed deal. As per the transaction, Bharti would buy Zain's African assets except those in Morocco and Sudan.
As a part of the deal, Bharti would be paying USD 9-billion for the assets and the rest would be towards the debt of the Kuwaiti firm.