Wednesday, July 16, 2014

México: America Movil Acquires Additional 23.47% Stake in Telekom Austria to Grab 50.8%

According to The Latin American Tribune, America Movil said it will acquire an additional 23.47% stake in Telekom Austria in a buyout offer, lifting the Mexican telecoms giant’s interest in the company to 50.8%.

In a filing with the Mexican Stock Exchange, the Mexico City-based company controlled by multi-billionaire Carlos Slim said 103.9 million shares were tendered in the offer, which expired on July 10.

America Movil added that, based on the terms of the buyout offer, the purchase price of 7.15 euros ($9.70) per share will be paid on or before July 24 to all participating shareholders.

Shareholders who did not take part in the initial offer will have an additional three months to tender their stakes.

COMMENT: On May 15, America Movil offered--via its Carso Telecom unit--to acquire all outstanding shares in TA not already owned by the Mexican telecoms giant or its partner, Austrian government holding company ÖIAG.

The offer was submitted after America Movil and ÖIAG reached a syndicate agreement on April 23 to combine their stakes in TA and jointly control the company.

Through ÖIAG, the Austrian government controls 28.4% of TA and has veto rights over strategic decisions, while America Movil currently has a 27% interest, which will now rise to nearly 51%.

As part of its April deal with ÖIAG, America Movil pledged to increase TA’s capital by 1 billion euros ($1.36 billion).

The Telekom Austria agreement was key to Slim’s expansion strategy in Europe after his attempt to take control of Dutch telecoms operator KPN fell through last year.

TA, which has roughly 23 million fixed-line and wireless subscribers in eight countries of central, eastern and southeastern Europe, posted nearly 4.2 billion euros (around $5.7 billion) in revenue in 2013 and had 16,000 employees at the end of last year.

America Movil, the telecommunications services leader in Latin America, had 279 million wireless subscribers and 69 million fixed revenue generating units in the Americas at the close of last year.