América Móvil increases its stake in Telekom Austria to almost 60%

América Móvil now owns close to 60 per cent of Telekom Austria after the Mexican company gained an additional 8.68 per cent share through an extended offer to smaller shareholders.

That offer closed last week and brought the Mexican company's stake in Telekom Austria via direct and indirect holdings to 59.7 per cent, the Carlos Slim-owned company said. The original offer of €7.15 ($9) per share was made on May 14 with an expiry date of July 10, and saw América Móvil take a controlling stake of 50.8 per cent in the Austrian company. The offer was then extended for a further three months until Oct. 16.

The next move for Telekom Austria will be to launch a €1 billion capital raising exercise to fund its expansion efforts. This measure is widely expected to be undertaken before the end of 2014 after company shareholders approved it in August.

In July, the Austrian state also indicated it had every intention of maintaining its minority stake in the operator: at the time, Rudolf Kemler, the head of state investment organisation ÖIAG, told the Kurier newspaper that the state will in all likelihood retain its 28.4 per cent stake after the capital increase.

The Austrian operator plans to use the additional capital to reduce debt and boost funds for future acquisitions. It said up to up to 221,500,000 bearer shares would be issued.

In the first half of 2014, Telekom Austria company reported a net loss of €317.8 million due to an earlier €400 million impairment charge on its Bulgarian business.

For more:
- see this América Móvil release (not for release in the U.S.)

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