MTN wants to finalise merger talks with Bharti quickly: Report

MTN Chief Executive Officer Phutuma Nhleko told the Johannesburg-based Business Report newspaper that they wanted to finalise the talks with Bharti Airtel as quickly as possible in order to remove shareholder uncertainty.

The companies aimed to benefit from "economies of scale" that might come from the merger, the newspaper quoted Nhleko as saying.

MTN and Bharti entered into merger talks in May this year but has been dragging on over the finer financial details.

Last week, MTN said exclusive talks for a possible deal with Bharti Airtel would be extended for a second time till September 30.

The proposed cash and stock deal would create an entity of over 200 million users, with USD 20 billion in revenues.

MTN operates in 21 countries, including Nigeria, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan.
The report says new subscribers in South Africa increased only 62,000 to 17.2 million. Its subscribers in Iran are now higher than South Africa's at 19.2 million and a further six million are expected by December.


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