Money News – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Iran’s Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Reza Taghipour, is reportedly pushing for South African group MTN to sell off a 21% stake in the country’s second largest mobile operator, MTN Irancell. According to local website Kabir News, the government official claims the stake sale was included in the terms of Irancell’s concession. MTN, which currently holds a 49% interest in Irancell, disagrees, however; it insists that the agreement to offload 21% via an initial public offer (IPO) only applied to Irancell’s original foreign shareholder, Turkcell of Turkey. In 2005 Turkcell agreed to take a 70% stake in the nascent Irancell operation, with this to be reduced to 49% within three years by way of an IPO. When the deal with Turkcell was abandoned, MTN says that it agreed to take the 49% interest on the understanding that the 21% stake sale would no longer be required.