Current negotiations between MTN and India's second-largest cellular operator Reliance Communications could be around MTN taking control of a merged company to create one of the biggest mobile telecomms players in the world.
A report in the Wall Street Journal claims that insiders point to a reverse takeover – Reliance would buy into MTN, but MTN would end up with control.
MTN has about 68-milion subscribers in Africa and a market capitalisation of $40-billion, while Reliance has about 48-million subscribers in India and a market capitalisation of $30-billion.
For the last month, MTN had been locked in talks with India's largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel, but those negotations were ended last weekend.
On Monday, MTN announced it will be in exclusive negotiations with Reliance for the next 45 days.
A merger of MTN and Reliance would create a mobile company that would rival the biggest in the world.