MTN may Extend Talks with Reliance: WSJ

South African mobile phone operator MTN Group and India's Reliance Communications may
continue their tie-up talks beyond Tuesday's deadline, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

MTN and Reliance agreed in May to 45 days of exclusive negotiations to create a global 10 telecoms company, which end on Tuesday. The companies may extend the talks by a few more weeks, the newspaper said in its website edition.

An extension would give Reliance Communications' chairman Anil Ambani some time to try to resolve a claim of right of first refusal on the telecom's shares by his estranged brother Mukesh, who runs Reliance Industries, India's largest company.

MTN, sub-Saharan Africa's top mobile operator, is nervous about entering a deal with a legal cloud over it and has looked at ways to restructure a transaction, the newspaper said.

The discussions had initially focused on a takeover of Reliance by MTN, but now the companies are weighing the reverse -- a takeover of MTN by Reliance, the newspaper said.

MTN and Reliance could not be immediately reached for comment.