James Middleton

July 9, 2008

1 Min Read
MTN, Reliance extend merger talks

Pan African operator MTN said Wednesday that it has agreed to extend merger discussions with Indian carrier Reliance Communications until later this month.

In a joint announcement to the Johannesburg and Bombay stock exchanges Wednesday morning, the companies confirmed an extension on the talks until July 21, as they look for a way to create an emerging markets powerhouse.

But the stumbling block for any deal between Reliance and MTN appears to be sibling rivalry between Indian tycoons the Ambani brothers. Anil Ambani, who owns 66 per cent of Reliance Communications, is said to be for the tie up, but his older brother, Mukesh, who owns 48 per cent of Reliance Industries, is said to want first right of refusal.

The deal would be posited as a takeover of Reliance by MTN and follows in the wake of collapsed discussions between the African operator and Reliance’s rival, Bharti Airtel, in May.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of telecoms.com | Follow him @telecomsjames

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