Reliance, MTN extend take-over talks

South Africa's MTN and India's Reliance Communications may continue their tie-up talks beyond today's deadline, the Wall Street Journal.

MTN and Reliance agreed in May to 45 days of exclusive negotiations to create a global ten telecoms company, which end on today.

The companies may extend the talks by a few more weeks, the WSJ said in its website edition, quoted by Reuters.

An extension would give Reliance Communications' chairman Anil Ambani some time to try to resolve a claim of right of first refusal on the telecom's shares by his estranged brother Mukesh, who runs Reliance Industries, India's largest company.

MTN, sub-Saharan Africa's top mobile operator, is nervous about entering a deal with a legal cloud over it and has looked at ways to restructure a transaction, the newspaper said.

The discussions had initially focused on a takeover of Reliance by MTN, but now the companies are weighing the reverse, a takeover of MTN by Reliance, the newspaper said.

MTN and Reliance could not be immediately reached for comment, according to the Reuters report.