If you believe the many denials or complete silence, then no one is interested in mounting a bid for MTN, the South African cell phone operator. However, MTN has a board meeting today (5th May) where its management is set to make a decision on whether it wants to go ahead with the sale of a portion of MTN's shares.
While Indian operators Bharti and Reliance have not confirmed they have tabled a bid, those close to MTN believe that both firms have expressed a keen interest in gaining control of MTN. In the recent past Bharti has stated that it wants to expand outside of its home market, naming Africa as a possible investment area.
Both these firms might struggle to secure adequate financing for the deal given that MTN's current market capitalisation stands at around US$35.5 billion, while that of Bharti's is about US$43 billion and Reliance's market price is US$30 billion.
Two global operators, Vodafone and China Mobile, are supposed to be the other contenders, but neither company has made a recent statement of its intentions.
For more on this story:
- read Money Control
Vodafone denies MTN talks. Vodafone story