MILLICOM ENDS TALKS ON POSSIBLE MERGER

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The emerging-market phone company Millicom International Cellular said on Monday that it had pulled out of merger discussions with a potential buyer, which has previously been identified as China Mobile Communications.  Millicom said that it had no confidence a deal could be reached.

China Mobile, which is state owned, was expected to bid about $5 billion for Millicom, which has nine million customers in 16 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Millicom said Monday that it had been in talks with a buyer since May, but "now concluded that this purchaser will not be in a position within an acceptable time frame to make a binding offer that is suitably attractive." Executives involved in the negotiations said the talks broke down because China Mobile could not put a firm offer on the table.

Millicom's business is doing well, one executive said, but the Chinese company could not "do what it takes to get to the finish line." Several telecommunications companies have expressed interested in buying all or part of Millicom, he said, but added that he expected Millicom's owner, the Swedish financial firm Kinnevik Investment, to hold on to the company.

China Mobile also recently tried to buy a stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Company.

New York Times