New Delhi: The country’s largest cellular operator Bharti Airtel is planning to raise its offer to $22.63 a share to acquire control of South African mobile player MTN, says a media report.
Quoting a person familiar with the situation, the Wall Street Journal said on 12 May Bharti is considering raising the offer to about 175 South African rand or $22.63 per share for control of MTN.
“There is no official bid yet, and MTN management insists that it be a minimum 200 South African rand per share,” WSJ reported quoting the person, in an article published in its online edition.
When contacted, a Bharti spokesperson declined to comment.
Last week, both Bharti and MTN announced that they are in “exploratory talks” which may or may not lead to a deal.
The person said the official bid could still be the original 160-165 rand, “depending on the terms of the agreement, how big of a stake MTN is willing to sell and other factors,” WSJ reported.
Media reports said Bharti, whose market capitalization as on 9 May stood at Rs1,59,841.77 crore could make an official bid for MTN this week for a 51% stake.
Earlier, media reports said Bharti is looking at acquiring 51% in MTN for $19 billion.
If the deal takes place, it will create world’s sixth largest mobile company with 130 million subscribers in more than 20 countries.
Bharti was trading at Rs825.90 in the afternoon, down 1.99% on the Bombay Stock Exchange.