On The Money - In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

- Transcorp, the majority shareholder in Nitel, has denied reports that it will sell 41% out of its 51% stake in the wireline operator, but did admit that it was seeking a new investor for a smaller share. 'Transcorp would cede 27% of its current holding,' Transcorp Vice President of Public Relations Adedayo Ojo told the IDG News Service. The government, which owns the remaining 49% of Nitel, said in December 2007 that another core investor should be found to help turn around Nitel's ailing performance.

- India's leading cellular operator, Bharti Airtel is reported to have started exploratory talks with MTN South Africa regarding a take over bid. According to the Financial Times, insiders had mentioned R165 per MTN share and said Bharti had secured bank loans of $12bn towards the deal. It would fund the balance by issuing shares.

- The Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (Mobinil) has announced its first quarter results which show a 52% year-on-year increase in subscribers to 16.16 million. In the first three months of 2008, Mobinil added 1.044 million customers to its base, helping revenues to climb 27% to EGP2.25 billion. EBITDA rose by 18% to EGP1.04 billion, reflecting an EBITDA margin of 44.5%. Net income increased by 14% to EGP451 million while CAPEX was EGP523 million.