MTN and Reliance extend exclusive talks

9 Jul 2008

South Africa’s MTN Group says it is extending its exclusive talks with India’s Reliance Communications over a possible merger. The original 45-day exclusivity period now ends on 21 July. Though negotiations have been taking place for some weeks, the future of a deal is still up in the air, with MTN thought to be wary of signing a deal which may result in legal action. A deal between MTN and Reliance Communications is being challenged by a third firm, Reliance Industries Ltd, which claims to have first refusal on a sale of Reliance Communications shares. The two Reliance firms are held by brothers Anil and Mukesh Ambani. A merger of MTN and Reliance would create an entity with assets across Africa, Asia and the Middle East and more than 110 million subscribers in over 20 countries.