Bharti in talks to acquire Zain's African unit

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Bharti in talks to acquire Zain's African unit
New Delhi, Feb 15: India's telecom giant, Bharti Airtel has said that it has entered into exclusive talks with Kuwait's Zain Telecom for acquiring its African unit.

The company said, "Bharti Airtel Ltd and Zain have agreed to enter into exclusive discussions until Mar 25, 2010, for the acquisition of Zain's African unit based on an enterprise value of $10.7 billion."

This development comes just a day after Zain Telecom approved the bid by Bharti Airtel.

"There can be no assurance that the transaction (current talks with Zain) would be consummated," Bharti said in a statement.

This is Bharti's third attempt in the last two years to enter the African market.

In Sep 2009, Bharti's talk with MTN for a $23 billion merger deal fell through due to various regulatory approvals, including dual listing.

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