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MTN meeting India regulators on Bharti deal

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mtnOfficials from MTN are meeting India’s capital market watchdog and stock exchanges to understand regulatory issues on a proposed deal between the South African firm and Bharti Airtel, the Economic Times reported on Thursday.

A three-member team from MTN is likely to seek clarity on what rights MTN and its shareholders would get for holding a 36 percent economic interest in Bharti, the newspaper said, citing a person familiar with the situation.

Officials at Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) were unavailable for comment. The spokesmen of the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange declined comment.

Bharti and MTN revived talks in May to create a leading global wireless group with more than 200 million subscribers and combined revenue of $20 billion . The two are in exclusive talks till July 31.

A Bharti director said on Thursday the two firms were still in talks.

SEBI earlier this month said MTN can buy 36 percent in Bharti through Global Depositary Receipts, without triggering a mandatory open offer.

But GDRs do not have voting rights and it remains to be seen how the deal would give MTN some management rights, the paper said.

Source: Reuters

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