Bharti Airtel

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Bharti Airtel ties up funds to buy Zain’s Africa assets

Telecom services operator, Bharti Airtel has tied up financing of $8.3bn for its $10.7bn or about Rs 49,000 crore bid to acquire Zain’s African operations. After the failure of its proposed acquisition of MTN, which attracted a lot of media coverage, Airtel has been keeping a low profile over the Zain Africa acquisition, with deal news coming out only at specific times.

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What could have saved the Bharti Airtel-MTN deal?

Bharti Airtel and MTN were unable to convince the South African government to accept their cross-border merger proposal. The government did not object to the merger per se but to the structure, which was outside the current regulatory environment. The two companies had proposed a structure, which ostensibly involved MTN taking up a stake in Bharti by subscribing to ADRs/GDRs. Bharti would in turn take up a stake in MTN, which was a direct transaction.

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Bharti Airtel and MTN can’t seem to decide

Bharti Airtel and MTN have still not managed to get their merger act together and don’t expect to do so any time soon. They have 10 days to go for the August 31 deadline for exclusive talks to end. But Bharti Airtel today announced an extension of talks till September 30. It is unlikely that the two sides are not able to agree on the price, by now they would have called off the talks if price was a sore point

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Bharti Airtel’s performance dented by rising costs and capex

Bharti Airtel’s results tell a different story, based on whether you compare it with the previous quarter or June 2008. Its performance seems to have improved compared to March but has deteriorated when compared to a year ago. It does appear that Bharti’s operating performance in 2009-10 will be lower, compared to the previous year.

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