Telekom Austria Up as Deadline Fuels Speculation: Vienna Mover

Telekom Austria AG, one of the two European phone companies part-owned by Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB, rose to the highest in a year on speculation that a takeover by the Mexican billionaire may become more likely.

The shares rose as much as 5.9 percent in Vienna, the biggest increase since America Movil said Aug. 9 it intends to make a 7.2 billion-euro ($9.7 billion) offer for the shares it doesn’t already own in Royal KPN NV. They traded at 5.972 euros, the highest since Sept. 2012, at 2:51 p.m. local time. About 1.5 million shares changed hands, more than three times the three-month average.

“There’s a lot of M&A going on in the sector,” Usman Ghazi, a London-based analyst for Berenberg Bank, said in a telephone interview. “Obviously Telekom Austria is on the radar and that’s why the share price is so strong. Any story, however ridiculous or misleading, is going to get the shares up.”

Speculation is fueled because yesterday a one-year period ended during which Slim would have been forced to pay a 60 percent premium to Telekom Austria’s current share price if he made a buyout offer to minority shareholders. An interview with Austrian economy minister Reinhold Mitterlehner about his views on privatizations also rekindled attention for Telekom Austria, Ghazi said.

The stock has gained more than 25 percent over the last three months. While two analysts advise investors to buy the stock, 15 say they should hold it and five say they should sell it, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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