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MTN May Spend $8 Billion to Grow in Emerging-Market Acquisition

MTN Group Ltd., Africa’s largest mobile-phone operator, may spend as much as $8 billion on an acquisition, building on an increase in spending on networks last year that held back earnings.

The company is seeking targets in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Middle East and will look at those that are worth at least $4 billion, Johannesburg-based MTN said by e-mail today.

Capital spending in 2012 rose 70 percent to 30.1 billion rand ($3.37 billion) because of work upgrading technology to handle more data traffic as consumers access the Internet from mobile devices, MTN said last month. MTN is competing for a new license in Myanmar to expand into south-east Asian markets, Chief Executive Officer Sifiso Dabengwa said at the time.

Reuters reported on the acquisition strategy earlier today.

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