MTN bid speculation incorrect, says Bharti Airtel (Lead, Changing Dateline)

May 6th, 2008 - 9:09 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 6 (IANS) India’s Bharti Airtel Tuesday denied any move for takeover of South African mobile network company MTN, terming media speculation on the matter as “incorrect and misleading”. “Bharti would like to clarify that it has not made any offer to acquire the whole or part of MTN. Therefore, the speculation around a bid by Bharti in a section of the media is incorrect and misleading,” Airtel said in a statement here Tuesday.

“Details of any transaction will be released promptly, if and when the parties reach agreement. As a responsible listed company, Bharti will continue to uphold the highest levels of transparency and corporate governance,” it added.

The South African firm had late Monday evening confirmed a possible takeover or a strategic alliance with Airtel.

“The discussions are exploratory in nature and may or may not lead to any transaction. Accordingly, shareholders are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the company’s securities until a further announcement is made,” MTN had said in a statement.

Last month, The Financial Times reported that Bharti Airtel was considering making an offer for MTN for 51 percent valued at around $37 billion.

The deal, if it goes through, would be India’s biggest foreign acquisition ever.

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