Bharti Airtel of India has confirmed that it is in talks concerning the possible acquisition of a majority stake in South Africa-based mobile group MTN. Bharti says it is holding ‘exploratory talks’ which may or may not lead to a deal. The Financial Times says the Indian group is interested in taking a 51% stake in MTN and it has already secured USD12 billion of financing which would allow it to proceed with a deal. The purchase may involve Bharti shareholder SingTel. MTN is the second largest cellco in South Africa and it also has operations across sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East; it claimed 68.2 million subscribers at the end of March.