India’s Bharti Airtel and South Africa’s MTN Group have extended the deadline for their merger talks from 31 July to 31 August, the two companies have announced, according to the Economic Times. It is thought that the extension has been implemented as a result of both firms needing to complete the due diligence process on each other’s financials. Additionally, it is believed that the two firms have yet to reach an agreement on the proposed management structure of any newly combined company.
Bharti and MTN reopened negotiations on a ‘mutual shareholding deal’ in May 2009, signing an agreement to discuss the potential transaction exclusively until 31 July 2009. Bharti is looking to acquire a 49% shareholding in MTN with the African company taking on an approximate 36% economic interest in Bharti, of which 25% would be held by MTN and the remainder held directly by MTN shareholders. Bharti would also reportedly pay MTN USD2.9 billion.