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Bharti Airtel still in discussion with MTN: CEO

Bharti Airtel still in discussion with MTN: CEO
PTI
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First Published: Thu, Aug 13 2009. 05 47 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Aug 13 2009. 05 47 PM IST
New Delhi: With investors seeking clarity from the market tribunal SAT on Bharti Airtel’s proposed mega deal with MTN, the Sunil Mittal company on Thursday said it is still in discussion with the South African firm.
“On MTN, I really can’t give any update because we are still going through the process,” Bharti Airtel CEO Manoj Kohli here said on a query if the company would be able to win over the investors as a shareholder had moved the Securities Appellate Tribunal seeking clarity on a Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) order.
This month an appeal was filed by a shareholder with the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) seeking clarity on a Sebi order exempting MTN from making an open offer to shareholders of Bharti.
The minority shareholder argued that MTN has to make an open offer to Bharti shareholders. Sebi, in an order dated 22 June, said MTN need not make an open offer to Bharti shareholders in India.
Bharti and MTN are in exclusive talks till 31 August, after extending the first deadline of 31 July to create a $23 billion dollar merged entity in a cash and stock transaction.
Bharti had earlier stated that the terms of the potential deal may be adjusted. If successful, the combined wireless group will have more than 200 million subscribers and a combined revenue of $20 billion.
As per the existing proposal, Bharti would acquire 49% shareholding in MTN and in turn MTN and its shareholders would acquire about 36% economic interest in the Indian firm.
Kohli further said that Airtel is confident to sustain its growth and will continue adding over two million new subscribers every month.
“We have had a very good growth in the last couple of years. We are confident we will be able to sustain this growth,” Kohli said.
Bharti Airtel which has a subscriber base of 105 million, added 2.8 million subscribers in July. In June, it added 2.8 million subscribers.
Airtel, which is the market leader with 32.29% pie, said that though it is committed to competitive tariffing, it will not go for per second billing model.
When asked whether, Airtel will have per second billing model, Kohli said, “No.”
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First Published: Thu, Aug 13 2009. 05 47 PM IST