America Movil Said to Prepare Formal KPN Bid Next Week
America Movil SAB (AMXL) plans to formally file its 7.2 billion-euro ($9.6 billion) offer for Royal KPN (KPN) NV shares as soon as next week, when it also expects to get regulatory approval, according to an investor briefed by the company.
The biggest Latin American mobile-phone company said it’s unlikely to increase the offer above its current proposal of 2.40 euros a share for the Dutch carrier, said the investor, who asked not to be identified because the conversation was private.
After acquiring a stake of about 30 percent in KPN last year, America Movil is moving to take full control of the former Dutch phone monopoly. To do so, it will have to persuade the independent foundation that protects KPN’s interests not to block the deal.
America Movil is awaiting approval of its offer document by the Netherlands’ Authority for the Financial Markets. Once that happens, the Mexico City-based company can publish the filing, allowing shareholders to begin accepting the offer.
An America Movil press official declined to comment on its plans to file an offer document. Stefan Simons, a KPN spokesman, also declined to comment.
The Mexican company, controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, is seeking a foothold in Europe to expand beyond Latin America. To win KPN’s favor, it set aside its rivalry with Telefonica SA (TEF), agreeing to support the Dutch company’s sale of its German unit to the Madrid-based carrier. America Movil even won KPN a higher price from Telefonica in direct negotiations, bringing the offer to 8.55 billion euros from 8.1 billion euros.
Days later, KPN’s foundation surprised America Movil by moving to impede the Mexican company’s takeover. The group exercised an option that creates new shares in KPN, giving it control of just under 50 percent of the company and diluting America Movil’s stake to 15 percent. The foundation said the move was necessary because America Movil hadn’t pursued the transaction in the customary Dutch manner, making its offer public before arriving at an agreement with KPN privately.
Both companies said yesterday they remain in talks. In a statement, America Movil said it “continues to be committed” to its plans for a 2.40 euro-a-share offer. KPN said in a separate statement that the carriers are in “continuous constructive discussions” on matters including price.
America Movil gained 0.8 percent to 13.22 pesos at the close in Mexico City. KPN, based in The Hague, climbed 1.6 percent to 2.32 euros.
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