MTN may buy ZTE's 51 percent stake in a cellphone company in the Democratic Republic of Congo to widen its lead as Africa's biggest wireless operator.

MTN was the leader among several suitors in talks to acquire control of Congo-Chine Telecom, Kang Linghua, a spokesman at the venture, said in Kinshasa on Wednesday.

Talks to sell the cellphone operator, valued at about $400 million (R3.8 billion), might stretch beyond 2009 because of the financial crisis, Linghua said. - Bloomberg