América Móvil COO steps down from KPN board as part of stake sale plan

KPN revealed that Oscar von Hauske Solís, COO and board member of América Móvil, is to leave its supervisory board as part of the Mexican company's plan to sell its stake in the Netherlands-based operator.

Solis is departing KPN with immediate effect because América Móvil decided to limit its representation on KPN's supervisory board to one member after reclassifying its stake in the Netherlands operator as an asset for sale, the company explained in a statement.

The departure leaves Carlos García Moreno Elizondo, América Móvil's CFO, as the sole representative of the Mexico-based operator on KPN's board, the statement said.

KPN's supervisory board thanked Solis for his contribution to the company "in particular through his extensive knowledge of the telecommunications industry."

América Móvil has utilised its KPN stake to back the issue of convertible bonds worth €3.75 billion, and holds a conversion option that could enable it to offload most of its stake in the Netherlands operator, Reuters reported, noting that the Mexican operator holds a 24.83 per cent stake in KPN.

The Mexican company announced in its second-quarter earnings statement that it had reclassified its KPN stake from a long-term investment to an asset available for sale. Cable and mobile telecoms group Altice was initially named as a potential buyer, but the speculation was shot down by CEO Dexter Goei, who said the company was focused on other projects in France, Portugal and the U.S., De Telegraaf reported in July.

At the time, Reuters reported that KPN was a prime takeover target because it was undercapitalised, but noted that a previous attempt by América Móvil to acquire a majority stake in the operator had been scuppered by a KPN shareholders foundation that would likely offer similar resistance to any hostile bids for the company.

América Móvil appears interested in selling its KPN stake to enable it to focus more closely on expanding into Eastern European markets -- a strategy it is pursuing though its subsidiary Telekom Austria.

The operators in August abandoned a bid to acquire Serbian operator Telekom Srbija due to the high price placed on the operator, and its lack of profitability.

For more:
- see this KPN statement
- view this Reuters report
- see this De Telegraaf article (in Dutch)
- read this previous Reuters article

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