Immediately after Bharti Airtel pulling out of negotiations to acquire an estimated $50 billion MTN, Anil Ambani group company Reliance Communications is understood to have started discussions for a possible tie up with the South African telecom entity.
The Wall Street Journal on Sunday reported that Reliance Communications is in talks to combine with South African cell phone company MTN Group, after Bharti Airtel decided to end negotiation with the African major. The daily further added that a combination of MTN and Reliance Communications would create a global wireless juggernaut, larger even than developed-market giants such as AT&T.
A report in The Sunday Times also said that since Bharti Airtel has pulled out, Reliance Communications is now the favourite in merger talks with MTN. Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin is expected to tell shareholders on Tuesday that he will not be drawn into bidding for MTN after the African mobile phone operator abandoned plans to merge with Bharti Airtel.