‘South Africa key for a Bharti-MTN deal revival’

‘South Africa key for a Bharti-MTN deal revival’

London: A revived deal between Bharti Airtel and MTN would need earlier referral to the South African authorities, a person familiar with the deal said, in a sign that the two sides may have underestimated potential hurdles.

“It is too early to know when and if talks will restart, but for a successful outcome next time we will need to engage with the South African government earlier," the person said on Thursday.

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The two companies failed to seal a $24 billion tie-up on Wednesday, the second time the deal collapsed in just over a year.

But investors held out the prospect of talks being reignited.

Chris Woods, a fund manager at Prudential Portfolio Managers, which owns MTN shares, told Reuters earlier that there appeared an intent from the current management of the companies to do a deal.