India's Bharti Airtel has offered to retain the top management at MTN for at least three years and given the option of an all-cash offer to minority MTN shareholders to sew up the planned tie-up between the two firms, the Economic Times reported on Tuesday.
The paper, citing a person familiar with the revised tie-up plan, said MTN would get a 27-percent stake in Bharti instead of the 25 percent earlier proposed.
MTN's minority shareholders would have the option to take $13 billion in cash instead of $7 billion cash and $6 billion worth of stock, the paper said.
Bharti would also cap its holding in MTN at 49 percent for at least five years. These moves would pacify the South African government keen on retaining MTN's national character, the paper said.
A Bharti Airtel spokesman said the company would not like to comment beyond an earlier statement. The company had said on Sept. 9 that despite reports in the media, no agreement had been reached between the two companies and discussions were still ongoing.
The planned tie-up between the two firms, which may lead to an eventual merger, would create the world's third-largest mobile phone group by subscribers but is subject to end-September deadline. The firms have extended the talks twice.
(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram; Editing by Valerie Lee)