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MTN eyes Reliance

May 28, 2008

South Africa's MTN is considering a reverse takeover of India's Reliance Communications as part of talks to combine the pair and create an emerging markets telecoms giant. The proposal would follow the same structure as one abruptly rejected at the weekend by Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile operator by sales, which until last week was locked in takeover talks with MTN.

A takeover of Reliance Communications by MTN would create one of the world's top emerging markets telecoms groups with a combined market value of close to $70 billion and nearly 120 million subscribers across Africa, the Middle East and south Asia. Reliance would gain access to MTN's global network, while MTN would win a significant foothold in the fast-growing south Asian market.

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