América Móvil takes stake in KPN to 7.3 per cent

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América Móvil has taken its stake in Dutch operator group KPN from 4.8 per cent to 7.3 per cent, after purchasing six million ordinary shares in the company.

The Mexico-based operator, owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, announced its intention to take its stake up to 28 per cent in May, but KPN told its shareholders not to accept the unsolicited $3.25bn bid for shares, which valued each share at €8, claiming that the offer was too low.

The deal announced on Monday valued shares at €7.80, however.

América Móvil made the deal through four transactions: one transaction related to 3 million ordinary shares, one transaction related to 1.5 million ordinary shares, one transaction related to 1 million ordinary shares  and one transaction related to 500,000 ordinary shares in KPN.

This takes the firm’s ownership to 104.5 million ordinary shares in KPN, representing a capital interest of 7.3 per cent.

The interest of the Mexican giant in investing in KPN comes at a time when European operators are struggling, according to Daniele Tricarico, senior analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

“In recent months, we have seen emerging players investing in European markets, such as Russian operator Vimpelcom acquiring Italian assets, and Egyptian magnate Naguib Sawiris acquiring stakes in Telekom Austria. Like many of its European peers, KPN is a troubled company which makes it a good acquisition target for a buyer looking to turn around its business,” he said.

“From a competitive standpoint, America Movil’s biggest rival Telefonica already benefits from a presence in a variety of diverse markets, including its home market Spain, the UK, Germany and other European markets as well as Latin America. By investing in KPN, America Movil would go head to head with Telefonica beyond Latin America and into Europe. As European economies are struggling, Latin America remains the major strategic focus for both groups, but it is important for America Movil to build a presence beyond its core markets.”

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