In May 2008, it emerged that Bharti Airtel, an India-based telecommunications company, was exploring the possibility of buying MTN Group. The Financial Times reported that Bharti was considering offering US$19 billion for a 51% stake in MTN, which would be the largest overseas acquisition ever by an Indian firm.
Talks fell through after a few days and Bharti Airtel pulled out of the proposed deal on 24 May. Two days later, it was reported that another Indian telecommunications company, Reliance Communications is in talks with MTN for a “potential combination of their businesses.” If realized, the estimated worth of the combined entity would have been $70 billion (£35 billion), with 116 million subscribers worldwide.
On 18 July, the two companies announced that they had mutually decided to end discussions regarding the merger.
Acquisition of Verizon Business South Africa
In June 2008, MTN Group agreed to purchase Verizon Business South Africa, which was a provider of data services to corporate customers in South Africa and four other African countries. The acquisition was completed on 28 Feb 2009. MTN positioned themselves to provide DSL Broadband services in Africa, particularly South Africa, through its partnership with leading South African ISP,
International Carrier Services
On 26 June 2009, MTN Group participated in Belgacom International Carrier Services (BICS), a subsidiary of Belgacom, by merging it with its own subsidiary, MTN ICS. BICS will function as official international gateway for all international carrier services of Belgacom, Swisscom and MTN group. These companies respectively hold 57.6%, 22.4% and 20.0% of the shares of the company.
Sale of Nigerian Stake
South African holding company Shanduka Group acquired a minority stake in MTN Group’s Nigeria business for $335 million in November 2012.