Carlos Slim's América Móvil has big plans for its stake in Telekom Austria and has not invested in the Austrian operator simply to make a fast buck, the company CEO told an Austrian newspaper.
On the occasion of a visit to Mexico by an Austrian business delegation, Daniel Hajj Aboumrad said in an interview with "Krone" that its stake in Telekom Austria is an important investment.
"Above all, we see Telekom Austria's entrenchment in Eastern Europe as valuable and promising for the future," added the CEO, who is also Slim's son-in-law. "We are long-term investors."
As well as its fixed and mobile businesses in Austria, Telekom Austria operates a small telecoms empire in Central and Eastern Europe, with companies in Bulgaria, Croatia, Belarus, Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia and Liechtenstein, and is believed to be interested in buying up more cable assets as part of its convergence strategy.
Hajj also told the paper that he had been irritated by América Móvil's failure to buy a majority stake in Dutch operator KPN because of resistance from a KPN foundation. "We are not out to make a fast buck," he added.
Krone noted that speculation in Austria suggests Slim could increase his influence over Telekom Austria through a capital increase.
Slim now owns 26.8 per cent of Telekom Austria after buying a 3.14 per cent stake from a family foundation, while state-owned ÖIAG is the largest shareholder with a 28.42 per cent stake.
Rudolf Kemler, the head of ÖIAG and also supervisory board chairman of Telekom Austria, recently said in an interview with Austrian state radio ORF that the Austrian government is ready to let América Móvil become the biggest investor in the telecoms operator or even own a majority stake, Bloomberg reported.
As AT&T retreats from Europe for now, Carlos Slim said to plot Austria move: report
América Móvil: We have no plans for a hostile takeover of Telekom Austria
Austrian operators slam high price of LTE spectrum
KPN expects Carlos Slim to keep stake in Dutch group