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India's Bharti close to raising MTN funds - report
NEW DELHI |
NEW DELHI Aug 18 (Reuters) - India's Bharti Airtel (BRTI.BO) has received bids from more than a dozen foreign banks, including Citi (C.N) and JPMorgan (JPM.N), to fund its proposed stake buy in South Africa's MTN (MTNJ.J), the Economic Times reported on Tuesday, raising hopes for a deal.
Citing unnamed bankers, the newspaper said Bharti had called fresh indicative financing bids from banks and a total 13 banks from the United States, Europe and Asia had put in their offers, each for $500 million, before a Monday deadline.
The foreign banks include Barclays (BARC.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Calyon (CAGR.PA), DBS (DBSM.SI) and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, the paper said.
Local lenders State Bank of India (SBI.BO) and Punjab National Bank (PNBK.BO) were interested in giving rupee loans, it said.
Bharti and MTN are in exclusive merger talks till Aug. 31 for a complex cash and stock deal, which would see MTN and its shareholders taking a 36 percent economic interest in the Indian firm and Bharti ending up with 49 percent in MTN. [ID:nBOM419614]
Brokerages had expected net cash outflow of about $4 billion from Bharti after initial terms were announced in May, though the firms said on Aug. 3 the terms and the structure of the deal might be adjusted.
The newspaper cited investment bankers familiar with the matter as saying Bharti was looking at an overseas loan of around $3 billion to $3.5 billion and a rupee funding equivalent to about $1.5 billion to $2 billion.
Bharti is likely to decide on the banks by the middle of this week and finalise the financing by Aug. 29, it said.
A spokesman for Bharti Airtel declined comment.
Earlier sources had told Reuters Bharti was looking to raise up to $4 billion in debt. (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy and Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)
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