Telecom major Bharti Airtel is in talks with the State Bank of India (SBI) to fund its USD 10.7 billion bid to acquire most of the African assets of Kuwait’s Zain Telecom, a top bank official said.

“Bharti is in touch with us,” SBI’s chairman O P Bhatt told reporters.

He declined to give details on the quantum of loan sought by Bharti.

Bharti and Zain are in exclusive talks till March 25 for the proposed deal. As per the transaction, Bharti would buy Zain’s African assets except those in Morocco and Sudan.

As a part of the deal, Bharti would be paying USD 9 billion for the assets and the rest would be towards the debt of the Kuwaiti firm.

Bharti had approached the State Bank of India last year too when the Indian telecom firm was pursuing a deal with South Africa’s MTN, which, however, did not go through.

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