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Etisalat could hinder Mittal’s bid for MTN

Etisalat could hinder Mittal’s bid for MTN
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First Published: Thu, May 15 2008. 11 44 AM IST

Updated: Thu, May 15 2008. 11 44 AM IST
New Delhi: As talks between Bharti Airtel Ltd and MTN progress towards a firm structure, it is becoming increasingly evident that there will be pressure on the target’s board of director to not just deal with the Indian suitor.
Funds from the Middle East and Emirates Telecommunications Corp. or Etisalat of the UAE could be party poopers for Sunil Mittal, the ambitious chairman of Bharti Airtel credited with building from scratch what is today India’s third most valuable Indian company by market capitalization.
If what analysts predict (a $50 billion valuation of MTN including debt on its books) turns out right, the big question Mittal will have to ask himself is whether the deal is worth it at some $733 an MTN customer. The answer will depend on how quickly he can transplant the Bharti Airtel low cost operating model and how fast the markets — from South Africa to Nigeria to Iran — in MTN’s empire grows.
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First Published: Thu, May 15 2008. 11 44 AM IST