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America Movil Sticks to $9.6 Billion KPN Offer Amid Talks

A logo sits on display on top of the Royal KPN NV headquarters in The Hague. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
A logo sits on display on top of the Royal KPN NV headquarters in The Hague. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- America Movil SAB, the Mexican carrier owned by Carlos Slim, stuck to its 7.2 billion-euro ($9.6 billion) offer for Royal KPN NV while the companies are in talks.

America Movil “continues to be committed” to its plans to make a voluntary public offer in cash for KPN at 2.40 euros per share, it said in a statement. The biggest Dutch phone company said in a separate statement the carriers are in “continuous constructive discussions” on matters including price.

America Movil’s bid ran into a snag after KPN’s foundation used an option to buy shares to impede what it described as a hostile takeover. The Mexico City-based company said it’s still evaluating its options regarding the preference shares and that it reserves the right to drop the planned offer.

“It is the first time that KPN states that they are in talks with AMX on the intended offer, which is a step in the right direction,” Emmanuel Carlier, a Brussels-based analyst at ING Groep NV said in a note. “In contrast with the Foundation, the KPN board is not only discussing terms and conditions but also price. We believe the boards of KPN mainly want AMX to raise its offer and to increase the acceptance level from more than 50 percent to more than 75 percent.”

KPN shares rose as much as 2.6 percent after America Movil’s statement and were up 1.1 percent to 2.26 euros as of 11:29 a.m. in Amsterdam. That’s the highest intraday level since Aug. 29.

‘Vital Role’

KPN is “carefully considering and weighing the interests of our shareholders, employees, customers and other stakeholders on financial and non-financial matters including safeguarding the vital role of KPN in Dutch society,” Jos Streppel, chairman of KPN’s supervisory board, said in today’s statement.

The foundation’s move came just after America Movil appeared to be addressing the group’s concerns. Slim’s company agreed last month to endorse the sale of KPN’s German unit to the billionaire’s biggest rival in Latin America -- Telefonica SA -- even convincing the Spanish company to sweeten its bid. After negotiating with America Movil, Telefonica increased the value of the bid for E-Plus to 8.55 billion euros from 8.1 billion euros.

America Movil won’t raise its offer “under any circumstance,” and it won’t agree to any restrictions on its ability to make management decisions if it controls KPN, Arturo Elias, a vice president of the company’s Telmex unit and Slim’s spokesman and son-in-law, said Aug. 30.

To contact the reporters on this story: Fred Pals in Amsterdam at fpals@bloomberg.net; Maud van Gaal in Amsterdam at mvangaal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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