MTN looks to block MTC-Vodafone’s purchase of Celtel

20 Apr 2005

South African-based mobile group MTN is heading to court in an attempt to prove that it had made a legally binding deal to acquire pan-African mobile holding company Celtel International before being trumped by Kuwaiti cellco MTC-Vodafone late last month. MTN says that the majority of Celtel’s shareholders had agreed to accept its USD2.7 billion takeover offer before MTC-Vodafone usurped the group with a USD3.3 billion bid. MTN is reportedly upbeat about its chances of persuading the courts to halt the proposed MTC-Vodafone and Celtel merger. The group is taking heart from a preliminary ruling by a British court forcing Celtel to disclose a number of documents relating to the proposed deals. MTN feels that the release of the materials will back up its claims, though Celtel dismissed the ruling as unimportant and is confident the deal with MTC-Vodafone will go through as planned. ‘As far as we are concerned the application (by MTN) was largely unsuccessful,’ Celtel spokesman Martin de Koning told Reuters. ‘The judge said there was an apparent improbable basis for any claim’.

South Africa, Celtel International, MTN Group, Zain Kuwait