Telekom Austria raises €997M; rolls out LTE-A in Austria and Slovenia

Telekom Austria has completed a capital increase announced earlier in November, raising total proceeds of €997 million ($1.24 billion) from the cash call but not quite achieving its goal of obtaining €1 billion in extra funding.

América Móvil and ÖIAG, which made full use of their subscription rights to the new shares, have retained their tight grip on the company. Of the 221.5 million new shares that were issued in total, the Mexican group subscribed for about 132.2 million new shares, and state-holding company ÖIAG for around 63 million to enable it to at least maintain its existing 28.42 per cent stake.

"[About] 25.5 million new shares were subscribed for at a price of €4.57 per new share by free float investors. Including the commitments of the core shareholders América Móvil…and ÖIAG the total take-up will be approximately 99.7 per cent," Telekom Austria said in a statement.

The around 0.3 per cent remaining shares not subscribed for in the subscription period or committed to by the core shareholders will be taken up by Deutsche Bank and sold in the market.

The Austrian operator said it intends to use the net proceeds of the capital increase to "re-establish its target capital structure" and maintain a credit rating of at least BBB (stable) by Standard & Poor's.

"The proceeds of the capital increase…will be used to strengthen our balance sheet, boost infrastructure investments especially in Austria. Furthermore we will continue our expansion with focus on convergence as well as in-market consolidation and even consider expansion via new operations," Hannes Ametsreiter, the CEO of Telekom Austria Group, said when the capital increase was first announced on Nov. 7.

As well as providing mobile and fixed services in Austria under the A1 brand, the group also operates a number of fixed and mobile operators across Central and Eastern Europe. In October, Telekom Austria reached agreement with Telekom Slovenije to merge their respective mobile operators Vip Operator and One in order to create a new entity on the Macedonian market.

The company has already announced further investments in its mobile networks in Austria and Slovenia: its subsidiaries A1 and Si.mobil are the first operators within the group to start rolling LTE Advanced carrier aggregation in order to offer higher transmission speeds and higher bandwidths in selected locations.

Together with Ericsson, A1 is rolling out LTE carrier aggregation on two 20 MHz frequency blocks from the 800 and 2600 MHz frequency bands auctioned in autumn 2013.

For more:
- see this Telekom Austria release on the capital increase
- see this Telekom Austria release on LTE carrier aggregation

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