America Movil to own just over half of Telekom Austria

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 14, 2014 5:33 PM

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Carlos Slim's America Movil said on Monday it will take control of just over half of Telekom Austria in a $1 billion buyout offer, giving the Mexican billionaire a base to build up his presence in European telecoms.

America Movil, which already owns around 27 percent of the company, said it would acquire an additional 23.47 percent of Telekom Austria's shares.

The purchase of 103,978,115 additional shares at 7.15 euros each will cost Slim's company about 743 million euros ($1.01 billion). America Movil will hold about 50.8 percent of Telekom Austria shares as a result of the buyout.

The deal represents Mexico City-based America Movil's first successful venture into operating in Europe after a failed takeover attempt of Dutch telecoms company KPN in 2013.

The telephone mogul plans to use Telekom Austria, which is in seven central and eastern European (CEE) countries outside Austria, as a base to build up a presence in European telecoms as his Mexican operation comes under regulatory fire.

Slim told Reuters in an interview on Thursday that he believed the CEE region had "plenty of mileage left in it."

The offer, which closed on Thursday, was launched in mid-May. It represented a 10.7 percent premium over the six-month average share price.

Austrian takeover law requires that investors be given the opportunity to sell at the same price in another three-month window shortly after the initial offer process is concluded.

($1 = 0.7345 Euros)

(Reporting by Christine Murray; Additional reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Jan Paschal)