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Bharti Airtel denies preliminary MTN agreement

10 Sep 2009

India’s Bharti Airtel has denied that it has reached an agreement with South African telecoms group MTN related to their long-planned share and cash swap, Reuters reports. The denial follows reports that the two companies had come to a preliminary agreement worth an estimated USD24 billion; Bharti, however, claims that while talks are ongoing which could later lead to a full merger of the two companies, no such agreement has been reached. In a statement it said: ‘We would like to categorically deny that any such agreement has been reached between the two companies…As and when there is any development, we would be happy to share the same with the media.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, at the end of last month Bharti and MTN announced that they had extended the deadline for their exclusive negotiations to the end of September, despite only having extended the deadline to end-August a month before that.

India, South Africa, Bharti Airtel, MTN Group

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