Telekom Austria denies hostile takeover rumours

Telekom Austria is denying market rumours that it has been approached by investors looking to acquire a majority holding.

Telekom Austria CEO Hannes Ametsreiter said there are no indications that investors are trying to build a large holding in the company, after reports that it was concerned it may become a hostile takeover target.

Regardless of this, Telekom Austria is in the process of appointing the investment bank Merrill Lynch to recommend ways to fend off the unwanted interest, according to a report in Wirtschaftsblatt, an Austrian daily newspaper.

If this wasn't enough distraction, Ametsreiter has also had to refute suggestions that Telekom Austria is in talks to acquire the Austrian mobile arm of France Telecom (FT) Orange.

"We are not involved in the talks so I can't say whether a sale is happening or not. It is very unlikely we will be part of it as we're in a special position as the market's number one," Ametsreiter told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Brussels.

While Telekom Austria was initially thought to have been approached by Austrian businessman Ronny Pecik, with the backing of Naguib Sawiris, owner of Egypt's Orascom Telecom, other industry heavyweights are also being suggested as possible "white knights" to combat Pecik's unwanted advances. Those rumoured as potential savours include Telefónica, VimpelCom, Telenor and Turkcell.

For more:
- see this Wirtschaftsblatt article (translated via Google Translate)
- see this Reuters article
- see this Telegeography article

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