Update on Airtel-MTN talks this week | india | Hindustan Times
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Update on Airtel-MTN talks this week

india Updated: Aug 02, 2009 17:22 IST

Bharti Airtel and South Africa's MTN are likely to announce the status this week of the proposed merger to create a USD 23-billion entity as period for exclusive talks between them expired on July 31.

The telecom majors could not come to any conclusion in their exclusive talks, started on May 25 for a possible share swap deal between the two firms, said market sources.

Recently Corporate Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed had said that any proposal to change the equity shareholding of the company would require the government's approval. Bharti Airtel officials remained tight-lipped on whether the deal was on and the period would be extended or whether talks had collapsed.

Neither Bharti nor MTN issued a statement about the present status of the dialogue.

Sources said MTN board may meet on August 18 to discuss the emerging situation. An email questionnaire sent to MTN remained unanswered.

Sidhharth Behura, Secretary in the Department of Telecom, had maintained that there is no deal as yet, so there is no question of seeking any information from them. And also they do not require any approvals for FDI up to 74 per cent.

Analysts said the silence of the firms so far indicates the negotiations are hitting some points of disagreement.