América Móvil gains European foothold with Telekom Austria stake

América Móvil has acquired a 4.1 per cent stake in Telekom Austria in a move that will see its second deal in Europe after acquiring a minority stake in KPN. The purchase, which was conducted on the open market, pushed Telekom Austria shares 10 per cent higher when the trade was revealed, according to Reuters.

Oscar Von Hauske, head of fixed operations at América Móvil, declined to elaborate on the stake holding, but told Reuters: "Telekom Austria is a company that we have been looking at for some time."

Of particular note, Telekom Austria board member Ronny Pecik, who last year acquired around 20 per cent in the operator through his RPR Privatstiftung, plans to pool his stake with América Móvil's, according to local Austrian media reports carried by News AT.

Austrian sources claim that Pecik will sell his shareholding for almost €900 million to a new company with the preliminary name Amov. América Móvil will also transfer its stake to Amov, with the Mexican company then holding an 80 per cent stake in Amov and RPR Privatstiftung holding 20 per cent of the company. Amov will then own almost 25 per cent of Telekom Austria.

News AT reports that the Austrian government has welcomed the idea of having a Pecik team up with Carlos Slim (América Móvil's owner) as a stable core shareholder in Telekom Austria, which lost money after restructuring charges last year and which has been shaken by corruption scandals. The two partners have also indicated they would keep Vienna as Telekom's headquarters and preserve jobs.

"Slim is seen as Telekom's saviour who ends all the speculation (about the group) and strengthens Telekom Austria as a leading company," a source told News AT.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article
- see this News AT article (translated via Google Translate)

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