Anil Ambani considering majority stake in MTN: British daily

July 3rd, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 3 (IANS) Reliance Communications chairman Anil Ambani is considering taking a majority stake in South African mobile operator MTN, a newspaper reported Thursday. Anil Ambani’s move is in response to a potential legal challenge by his brother Mukesh to the deal being discussed by MTN and R-com, the Financial Times reported.

Elder brother and Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani says he has the right of first refusal over the sale of shares by Anil Ambani in R-Com and has threatened legal action to enforce it.

According to media reports of the deal under discussion, Anil Ambani will swap most of his 66 percent stake in R-Com for shares in MTN.

It was initially reported that he was eyeing around 35 percent stake.

The newspaper quoted a person familiar with the deal as saying under the proposed new structure, Anil Ambani would head a consortium that would include global private equity and West Asian sovereign wealth funds.

The group would seek 51 percent of MTN.

The changes would mean that the period of exclusivity over the talks would be likely to be extended for two to three weeks from the current 45-day period, the paper said.

It said the new structure will require a much larger cash injection from private equity firms of about $10-11 billion.

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