Carlos Slim wins majority control of Telekom Austria
24 April 2014 | Sophie Donoghue
Carlos Slim’s America Móvil has reached a co-ownership deal with Austrian state holding company ÖIAG, giving the Mexican company majority control of Telekom Austria.
America Móvil is already the second-largest shareholder in the company, owning 26.8% of the Austrian operator, with 28% of the company being state-owned.
Speculation that the Latin American operator was looking to acquire the company's remaining shares from the Austrian government have been circulating since January this year.
The deal will see ÖIAG’s stake in the operator fall to 25% plus one share, while it keeps the right to nominate the CEO and chairman of the supervisory board. The ten year agreement which could be extended for a further five, will cost Slim’s firm approximately €1.4 billion. Slim has also agreed to back an additional €1 billion capital increase.
“The aim is to make Telekom Austria an important player in the European telecoms market, as well as actively considering the interests of [Austria as a] business location,” said Rudolf Kemler, CEO of ÖIAG.
He added that the deal would lead to “massive future growth” in the company.
Slim’s America Móvil has been looking to expand into European markets since 2012, when it purchased stakes in Austria Telekom and KPN.
In August last year, Slim’s €7.2 billion takeover bid for KPN was blocked by the KPN Foundation, an independent entity in the Netherlands formed to protect the Dutch operator.
In Mexico Carlos Slim’s company has been dogged by regulatory changes designed to cut Slim's share of the Mexican market by 50% in a bid to increase competition. Slim criticised Mexico’s new telecoms bill which was sent to congress for approval at the end of March this year.