America Movil ends KPN shareholding limit

29 July 2013 | Natasha Culzac


America Movil has ended its agreement with KPN to allow shareholders to hold more than 30% in the company, fuelling rumours that it could be set to bid a majority stake in the Netherlands-based operator.

America Movil, owned by Billionaire Carlos Slim, owns just shy of the limit allowed and was permitted to end the contract due to Telefónica’s €8.1billion bid for E-Plus, the lucrative and buoyant German subsidiary of KPN.

According to reports, America Movil has yet to decide whether it will back the sale of E-Plus, with reports suggesting Slim believes the bid is too low.

America Movil said that it will keep two seats on the board of KPN, but as yet it is unclear whether the US telecoms firm will increase its stake or possibly even sell it.

The head of E-Plus, Thorsten Dirks, told German news magazine Der Spiegel on Sunday that the sale of the company to Telefónica could trigger more consolidation in Europe’s mobile market.

“Europe has more than 50 mobile phone companies. I believe that functioning competition can be achieved with a lot less providers,” Dirks said.