Rumour Mill: Is Mexico's Carlos Slim stalking Telekom Austria?

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The owner of America Movil, Mexico's Carlos Slim, held talks with Telekom Austria shareholders over acquiring a stake in the operator, according to a report in an Austrian magazine that did not cite sources.

Slim reportedly spoke with Ronny Pecik about the 20 per cent holding he and his partner Naguib Sawiris have in the Austrian operator. Slim also reportedly held talks with Telekom Austria's biggest shareholder, OeIAG, which has a 28.4 per cent holding in the company.

According to Reuters, America Movil has approached Telekom Austria directly in the past. The action is further evidence of Slim's long-held ambitions to break into the European mobile market; America Movil recently offered $3.5 billion for a 28 per cent stake in KPN.

Pecik and Sawiris have indicated that they will seek seats on Telekom Austria's expanded supervisory board, and have previously said they would hold their stake for two years before offloading the shares to a strategic investor, according to Reuters.

Reports from within Austria claim that Norway's Telenor remains the most likely telco to acquire a meaningful stake in Telekom Austria, and is looking to negotiate with Egyptian businessman Sawiris on possible options.

Earlier this month, Telekom Austria said that its planned acquisition of Orange Austria YESSS assets was going through the approvals process and remained on track to be complete by mid-2012.

For more:
- see this Reuters article

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