América Móvil to increase Telekom Austria stake

15 June 2012 |

Carlos Slim’s América Móvil (AM) today announced that it had entered into an agreement which will increase its overall stake in Telekom Austria to 23%.

América Móvil will acquire the 21% stake from Marathon Zwei Beteiligungs, a wholly-owned subsidiary of private trust RPR Privatstiftung, setup by Ronny Pecik, who is vice chairman of Telekom Austria’s supervisory board.

América Móvil said that as of today it had acquired 5% of the outstanding shares, raising its stake to 6.7%. The remaining 16% of shares will be acquired “upon receipt of certain governmental approvals and other authorisations”. The transaction is expected to close during 2012.

The company has said that the acquisition will position it as a long-term partner of Telekom Austria and that it hopes to develop a constructive relationship with the company’s stakeholders. Pecik is expected to continue in his role on the supervisory board

This will be América Móvil’s second foray into Europe in recent weeks having made an offer for a 27.7% stake in Dutch carrier KPN, with a deadline later this month. América Móvil’s interest in Telekom Austria is expected to be well received in comparison to KPN’s frosty response.

The Dutch carrier said the €8 a share offer undervalued the company and has been seeking to sell off its German mobile operation E-Plus to try to prevent the AM bid. This week América Móvil increased its stake in KPN to 7.30%.

Telekom Austria, which operates in CEE, has been facing tough conditions brought on by the European financial crisis. In the first quarter of 2012, the company’s core earnings were down almost 9%, but it is still sticking to its 2012 outlook.