América Móvil, which has already delayed launching its formal offer for KPN, now may face a further hurdle in its plan to buy the Dutch operator after reports said KPN is pushing for a higher price.
Citing unnamed sources close to the matter, Bloomberg reported KPN is arguing that a tax offset from the sale of E-Plus, its German mobile unit, makes the company more valuable and wants América Móvil to increase its offer from the original €2.40 a share, or €7.2 billion ($9.78 billion) in total.
For its part, América Móvil is reportedly saying that the Dutch mobile market is now a more difficult environment due to the entry of a new competitor in the form of Ziggo, and therefore sees no grounds for a price increase.
Since it first announced its intention of increasing its stake in KPN to a majority, Carlos Slim's América Móvil has been faced with one hurdle after another, the most recent being opposition from KPN foundation, which increased its stake to just under 50 per cent of the operator and is therefore able to block any potential takeovers.
América Móvil, KPN and the KPN foundation declined to comment, Bloomberg said.
After warning it could quit the deal after the move by the foundation, América Móvil decided to remain in discussions with KPN. However, it remains to be seen how much patience the Mexican company has to see the deal through.
Meanwhile, shareholders in KPN are set to vote on Wednesday on the sale of E-Plus for €8.55 billion ($11.6 billion) to Telefónica at a meeting that may be overshadowed by wider questions about KPN's fate, reported the Associated Press. América Móvil, which currently owns 30 per cent of KPN, has given the green light to the sale.
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