Page last updated at 16:41 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 17:41 UK

Bharti African talks 'continue'

Indian labourer using a mobile phone
Mobile sales have grown fast in both India and South Africa

Indian mobile firm Bharti Airtel and South African phone business MTN are continuing exploratory talks about a tie-up, according to media reports.

Experts estimate a deal could be worth $20bn (10.2bn), making it India's largest takeover of a foreign firm.

Earlier this week Bharti said talks were aimed at combining the strengths of the two "leading emerging markets" firms but that it had not made a bid.

Any tie-up would create the world's sixth-largest mobile operator.

Combined together, the firms would have more than 130 million subscribers across more than 20 nations.

After China, India is the second-largest market for wireless services.

Jan Meintjes, a fund manager at South Africa's Gryphon Asset Management, said there were other options beyond a merger.

"It can be joint venture or it can be one of a number of other structures ... Both sides will want something that will bring the best value to shareholders," he said..

Telecom boom boosts Bharti Airtel
23 Jan 07 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific