Millicom backs out of takeover negotiations

Luxembourg-based mobile operator Millicom International Cellular, which focuses on some of the world's poorest countries, has called off takeover talks after "prolonged discussions" with a potential purchaser, an Associated Press report said.

The report said Millicom had decided that the bidder, which it did not identify, could not make a firm offer.

Millicom "concluded that this purchaser will not be in a position within an acceptable time frame to make a binding offer that is suitably attractive, given the current strong performance of the business, or sufficiently certain of closing," the company said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal had reported that China Mobile, China's largest mobile carrier by subscribers, had been in exclusive discussions with Millicom over a $5.3-billion deal that would have been its first major overseas purchase.

Neither Millicom nor China Mobile confirmed the "negotiations."

Quoting sources it did not name, the Wall Street Journal said China Mobile and Millicom could not agree on a final price.