América Móvil moves for KPN control

Carlos Slim-owned telco América Móvil is set to make a €7.2 billion bid for control of Netherlands operator KPN, leaving a questionmark over the latter’s planned sale of a German subsidiary to Telefonica Deutschland.

América Móvil, which already owns 30% of KPN, is making a €2.40 per-share offer for the remaining 70% shareholding. This represents a 35% premium on KPN’s closing share price in the last month.

América Móvil said it wanted to “facilitate greater operational cooperation and co-ordination between the two companies, to exploit all areas for potential partnerships and to intensify the realisation of synergy potential for both companies.”

Its KPN investment in 2012 was its first outside the Americas, and was part of its efforts to “achieve geographical diversification and create attractive long-term returns for its shareholders.”

Since then América Móvil has bought a stake in Telekom Austria and recently invested US$40 million in UK-based audio recognition business Shazam.

KPN announced in July that, subject to shareholder approval, it would sell German subsidiary E-Plus to Telefonica Deutschland for €5 billion in cash. It is unclear what the América Móvil takeover would mean for this sale.

In its statement, KPN said that it will “carefully consider” the intended bid. It expects to convene an extraordinary general meeting in the coming weeks.

“América Móvil is carefully evaluating the merits of the proposed transaction and will make a final determination in relation to the exercise of its voting rights at the upcoming extraordinary general meeting of KPN,” América Móvil said in a statement.


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