New Delhi: Due diligence for the proposed transaction between Bharti Airtel Ltd and South Africa’s MTN Group Ltd is expected to be completed in four weeks, a key dealmaker said.
The exercise could be completed earlier as the advisers and lawyers will be able to access the data online, this person said on condition of anonymity.
This represents a major step forward in the proposed deal that would create a large multinational mobile phone services operator with combined revenues of at least $20 billion (Rs96,200 crore).
Merger plans: Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal will visit international markets where MTN has a footprint to meet policymakers and seek support for the Bharti-MTN deal. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
On 25 May, Bharti announced it had renewed its effort for a partnership with MTN and was exploring a potential transaction under which Bharti would acquire 49% shareholding in MTN, and MTN would acquire 36% economic interest in Bharti. Both companies agreed to discuss the transaction exclusively till 31 July.
As part of his efforts to drum up support for the deal in India, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal has met with key policymakers including finance secretary Ashok Chawla earlier this week. In these meetings, Mittal is believed to have explained the contours of the proposed transaction to government officials and also underlined the company’s understanding that an open offer would not be required for Indian shareholders.
With the Indian government supportive of the transaction, the dealmakers are confident that no regulatory compliance issues would crop up.
Bharti will now turn its attention to several international markets among the 21 countries where MTN has a footprint. Mittal will visit five to six of these countries to meet policymakers and seek support for the deal, people familiar with the matter said, who declined to be named.