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Carlos Slim Subject of Speculation as Hawe Raises Capital

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Hawe SA said it plans to raise 350 million zloty ($107 million) by selling shares to an investor amid speculation that billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB may seek a stake in the Polish fiber-optic network operator.

Hawe, based in Warsaw, will ask for shareholders’ approval on Sept. 18 to issue 50 million to 100 million new shares in a private transaction, according to a regulatory filing yesterday. The company will use proceeds to buy TK Telekom Sp z o.o., a Warsaw-based phone unit of Polish state railway Polskie Koleje Panstwowe SA, according to a statement.

The company has identified four or five potential buyers for the shares, Marek Falenta, who controls 45 percent of Hawe, said yesterday in a phone interview. He declined to name them. America Movil may seek a stake in Hawe, newspaper Puls Biznesu reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

“My preference is to sell shares to a big company from the telecommunications sector,” Falenta said. “I cannot confirm if Carlos Slim’s company is among them or not.”

An official at Mexico City-based America Movil declined to comment on whether the company would seek a stake in Hawe.

Slim, 72, is pushing America Movil into Europe to take advantage of phone company valuations that have fallen during the euro-region crisis. In June, America Movil, the biggest wireless carrier in the Americas by subscribers, agreed to buy a 21 percent stake in Telekom Austria AG and acquired 28 percent of Dutch carrier Royal KPN NV’s shares.

World’s Richest

Slim’s net worth of $72.2 billion makes him the world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Puls Biznesu didn’t name the other bidders for Hawe, saying they are two private-equity funds and a global phone company.

Hawe fell as much as 5.6 percent to 4.06 zloty today in Warsaw, retreating from a 15 percent gain yesterday on Puls Biznesu’s report. America Movil was unchanged at 16.53 pesos at 9:14 a.m. in Mexico City.

America Movil is also interested in Poland’s fourth-largest mobile phone operator P4 Sp. z o.o., according to the newspaper. Marcin Gruszka, a spokesman for P4, didn’t answer a call to his mobile phone seeking comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Piotr Skolimowski in Warsaw at pskolimowski@bloomberg.net; Konrad Krasuski in Warsaw at kkrasuski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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