AT&T flogs America Movil stake

US carrier AT&T has offloaded an 8.27 per cent stake, worth around $5.6bn, in Latin American operation America Movil, as it seeks to fund its acquisition of DirecTV. The America Movil shares were snapped up by the company’s billionaire owner, Carlos Slim, via his holding company Inmobiliaria Carso.

AT&T no longer holds any stock in America Movil.

It was last month when AT&T announced plans to acquire US and Latin American pay TV player DirecTV in a deal valued at $48.5bn. The deal will create a service provider with an offering across mobile, broadband and video that is unprecedented in the market, AT&T said. The transaction, which also involves AT&T assuming $18.6bn in debt, should take a year to complete, the telco said.

The acquisition offers a number of benefits to AT&T, the firm said. It improves the firm’s income mix by greatly increasing video revenues, it will increase its fixed broadband network to 70 million customer locations and it will create significant growth in revenue collected by AT&T from outside the US.

Carlos Slim meanwhile, has been on the acquisition trail, mostly focusing in Europe. In January America Movil increased its stake in European operator group Telekom Austria to a 3.14 per cent stake in the European group, up from a 21.9 per cent stake in the firm. The move caused some issues among the executives and led to Telekom Austria parting ways with group chief financial officer Hans Tschuden.

Prior to that, America Movil abandoned its attempt to acquire Dutch operator KPN in October last year, after a blocking move made by the KPN Foundation had left it unable to “fulfil its aim” with the deal. It took its stake in KPN to 29.8 per cent in February 2013.

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