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Telekom Austria Says Pecik Exercised Call Options, Holds 20.1%

Telekom Austria AG, Austria’s former telephone monopoly, said investor Ronny Pecik’s RPR Privatstiftung holds 20.118 percent after exercising call options.

RPR’s Marathon Zwei Beteiligungs GmbH exercised call options to buy 22,593,000 shares, or 5.1 percent, of Telekom Austria, the Vienna-based company said in a statement late yesterday. Marathon already held 15.004 percent and RPR directly holds 0.015 percent of Telekom Austria.

The network operator said on Jan. 16 that RPR held 5.1 percent of call options exercisable until June 18. RPR has been progressively building the stake since acquiring options to buy 5.4 percent of the company’s rights in October.

Pecik, who said in October that he teamed up with Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris to buy a stake in Telekom Austria, told Format magazine on Dec. 16 that he was aiming for 25 percent of Telekom Austria.

Telekom Austria, which owns mobile networks in seven eastern European countries, halved its 2011 and 2012 dividend forecasts on Dec. 16, after Pecik criticized the company’s payout policy. Pecik may call an extraordinary shareholder meeting in March, Die Presse reported Jan. 18, without saying where it got the information.

The Austrian government owns 28.4 percent of Telekom Austria and is its biggest shareholder.

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