Telekom Austria Jumps After Carlos Slim’s KPN Bid: Vienna Mover

Telekom Austria AG, one of the two European network operators part-owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB, had its biggest single-day gain in more than four years after the Mexican billionaire’s company offered to take over Royal KPN NV.

The shares rose 46 cents, or 8.7 percent, to 5.73 euros today in Vienna. Trading was almost six times the 90-day average volume as the stock rose the most since December 2008.

Slim’s offer “is absolutely positive because it sheds some light on the takeover issue and shows that America Movil is committed to the European market,” Bernd Maurer, a Vienna-based analyst at Raiffeisen Centrobank AG, said by phone today. America Movil offer may have been triggered by KPN’s planned disposal of its German unit, E-Plus, he said.

America Movil is offering 7.2 billion euros ($9.6 billion) for the 70 percent in KPN it doesn’t yet own, accelerating Slim’s bid to expand his telecommunications empire beyond Latin America. The company has a direct stake of 23.7 percent in Telekom Austria, according to its latest quarterly report. Slim owns an additional 3.14 percent share through his Inmobiliaria Carso SA holding company.

Slim’s company would have to make an offer for all of Telekom Austria’s shares if it wanted to raise its stake above 30 percent, according to Austrian law. Any offer prior to Sept. 25, the one year anniversary of America Movil’s investment in Telekom Austria, would need to match the 9.50 euro-a-share price paid for the initial stake, takeover rules say.

“Although we currently have no evidence or information of a tender offer, when we look at the development of KPN, such a scenario is also possible for Telekom Austria,” the company’s labor representative, Alexander Sollak, said today in an OTS statement. Workers want Austria’s state-asset agency, which owns 28.4 percent of the company, to reaffirm its intention of keeping its stake and consider buying more stock.

Telekom Austria spokesman Peter Schiefer declined to comment on Slim’s takeover bid for KPN.

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