GVT Chairman Amos Genish confirms the report published by TELETIME News last week that talks on a deal involving a merger with Intelig or straight acquisition are in progress. National Grid, which controls the competitive long-distance carrier with a 50% share, and France Telecom and Sprint, with 25% each, have given the go-ahead. A deal now depends on Intelig?s biggest suppliers, Alcatel and Nortel, which have an agreement giving them the right to veto an ownership change. Mr Genish acknowledges that negotiations are under way with both suppliers but won?t disclose the amount of Intelig?s debts. No discounts or extensions of maturities have been requested, he says. He also refuses to say now much GVT is offering to buy 100% of Intelig. If a deal goes through, it won?t require financing because GVT can pay out of its funds, he says, noting that Intelig and GVT have complementary operations and could benefit from a merger. He doesn?t expect Brasil Telecom to try to outbid GVT for Intelig because the ILEC controlled by Opportunity can?t diversify into long distance until 2004 and Intelig isn?t in a position to wait that long. Alternatively BrT could acquire 19.9%, but Intelig?s shareholders want to sell 100%.