Indian co. snaps merger talks South Africa's MTN Gr.
Monday, 26 May 2008

AP, NEW DELHI  -- An Indian telecommunications company has called off merger talks with South Africa's largest mobile phone network operator, MTN Group Ltd., a company statement said.

Bharti Airtel Ltd. said late Saturday it was pulling out of talks with MTN because the latter presented a different structure than was agreed to earlier this month.

Nozipho January-Bardill, an MTN spokeswoman, said the company would brief shareholders on Monday. ''In line with regulatory obligations, MTN will update shareholders as the market opens on Monday morning,'' she told The Associated Press on Sunday.

''Bharti's vision of transforming itself from a home grown Indian company to a true Indian multinational telecom giant, symbolizing the pride of India, would have been severely compromised and this was completely unacceptable to Bharti,'' the statement said.

Discussions were held with MTN until Friday without a breakthrough, it said.

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