Indian operator Bharti Airtel has moved to quash rumours that it is planning to bid for South Africa-based MTN Group.

After the Indian firm confirmed that it was in discussion with MTN earlier this month, speculation of an acquisition was rife.

However, Bharti has since revealed that the nature of the discussion is more focused on a combination of the two companies’ activities in emerging markets.

“Bharti would like to clarify that it has not made any “bid” nor is there any requirement to make a “bid”, as has been incorrectly speculated and reported,” the company said.

“The discussions being held are aimed at combining the strengths of the two leading ’emerging markets’ players and accordingly veering towards possible structures to achieve this objective,” Bharti said.

Word has it that the discussions are moving along and the head honchos at both firms are divvying up the management positions for an expanded operation.