América Móvil withdraws KPN offer

17 October 2013 |

América Móvil has withdrawn its €7.2 billion bid to take over KPN, after both parties failed to agree on an offer price.

The news brings over two months of negotiations to a close, and represents another setback for Carlos Slim in the European market.

América Móvil offered to buy the 70% of KPN it did not already own for a price of €2.4 per share in early August, but the bid was subsequently blocked by the KPN Foundation, an independent entity in the Netherlands formed to protect the interests of KPN stakeholders.

In a joint statement, KPN’s chairman of the supervisory board, Jos Streppel, and chairman of the board of management and CEO, Eelco Blok, said: “We have not been able to agree on an offer price, and other terms and conditions, which would reflect appropriate value and minority shareholder protection for selling control of KPN. We remain fully committed to serving our customers in the best possible way and creating value for shareholders.”

The indebted company added that it will continue to focus on its market-leading position in the Netherlands and its “strong challenger position” in Belgium.

América Móvil is yet to confirm what it will do with its equity stake in KPN. After investing approximately $4 billion, the company had a 30% stake in the Dutch operator which was effectively halved when the KPN Foundation executed an option to acquire almost 50% of KPN’s voting stock.

The news immediately raises the question, what will cash-rich América Móvil do next?

Some analysts have suggested the deal could be resurrected at a later point, while others claim Slim will instead focus his intentions on consolidating the company’s position in Brazil.

The news could also heighten speculation regarding América Móvil’s interest in Telekom Austria, which it presently owns 23% of. The Austrian operator was rumoured to be next on Slim’s checklist.

América Móvil’s shares rose more than 6% immediately after the announcement.

KPN shares fell approximately 8.8% in early trading in Amsterdam this morning.