Report: Telekom Austria on brink of 'expansion wave'

Telekom Austria is on the verge of a new wave of expansion that could see the operator acquire more fixed-line operations across its existing footprint, to replicate the position it holds in Austria in other markets.

This, at least, is the vision of América Móvil CFO Carlos Garcia Moreno, who discussed the plans that the Mexican operator has for its new European unit in an interview with Austria's News Magazin.

Moreno said América Móvil made a commitment as part of the shareholder agreement with state-owned holding company ÖIAG to expand in Central and Eastern Europe solely through the Telekom Austria group, and plans to do so once all regulatory approvals have been received.

Austria's Federal Competition Agency (BWB) has until June 10 to review the deal that would see América Móvil and ÖIAG pool their respective stakes to form a shareholder syndicate.

Moreno, who added that he would very much like to sit on the Telekom Austria supervisory board, defined the core market area for the group as "everything east of Austria and Germany, and west of Russia".

América Móvil recently launched an offer for shares in Telekom Austria that are not already owned by the Mexican group or its partner ÖIAG, and said it expects the transaction to cost it around €1.4 billion ($1.9 billion). As things stand, its holding company Carso Telecom owns about 25 per cent of Telekom Austria and ÖIAG holds a 28.4 per cent share. América Móvil owns a further 1.79 per cent directly. Around 44.6 per cent is in free float.

According to Reuters, which also cited the News Magazin report, América Móvil aims to keep 24 per cent of Telekom Austria listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange within two years of completing its takeover offer.

In separate reports, Reuters also noted that the management and supervisory boards of Telekom Austria have decided to give no recommendation for América Móvil's offer for its outstanding shares.

For more:
- see this Reuters article
- see this separate Reuters article
- see this News Magazin article (sub. req. for full article) (translated by Google Translate)

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