Pittsburgh: Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday strongly backed Bharti group’s efforts for acquiring stakes in South African telecom gaint MTN when he took up the issue with president Jacob Zuma and hoped that the deal will go through without any “discrimination”.
“As far as MTN issue is concerned, I mentioned it to (President) Zuma. I sincerely hope that this deal would go through and there will be no discrimination against it,” he said in reply to a question at a press conference here.
Singh said officials of the two countries would discuss the issue.
Bharti and MTN are looking at an $23 billion deal to create the world’s third largest mobile firm with over 200 million subscribers. According to the initial agreement, MTN and its shareholders would acquire 36% stake in Bharti and Bharti would acquire 49% stake in MTN.
The process would see a $13 billion transaction in cash and $10 billion in shares.
According to the initial agreement, MTN and its shareholders would acquire 36% stake in Bharti while Bharti would hold a 49% stake in MTN.
The process would see a transaction of $13 billion in cash and $10 billion in shares.
South Africa has said it is working closely with India on the proposed deal that requires exemptions on a range of exchange-control regulations.
“We have received an application from MTN for an exemption on a range of exchange-control regulations, and due process is being followed. The SA government is working closely with the Indian government through their Finance Ministries.
“It would be important that such mergers are not only of benefit to the two companies, but to both countries as well,” South African Government’s spokesperson national treasury Thoraya Pandy had told PTI.
Earlier this week, a delegation from South Africa had held discussions with the SEBI, RBI and Finance Ministry officials and is likely to take a decision on the contentious issue of dual listing soon.
Sources also said the two companies may extend the exclusive talks period beyond September 30 to work out an alternate structure of the deal.