KPN Shareholders Approve Redemption of Foundation’s Stake

Royal KPN NV’s shareholders approved the redemption of a stake held by its independent foundation that blocked a 7.2 billion-euro ($9.8 billion) takeover bid by billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil SAB in October.

Almost 100 percent of the shareholders agreed that the foundation will redeem its 4.26 million preference B shares, KPN supervisory board chairman Jos Streppel said today in The Hague, where the Dutch carrier is based. Shareholders also agreed on a reduction of the nominal value KPN shares to 0.04 euro from 0.24 euro to lower costs related to the shares, such as dividend.

America Movil in October decided to withdraw its offer because of a disagreement with KPN over price and corporate governance, among others. The foundation took up the option on KPN’s preferred stock in August to stall America Movil’s 2.40 euro-a-share offer for the Dutch phone company.

With a lower nominal value, it becomes cheaper for the foundation to exercise its right on the preference B shares as it needs to finance 25 percent of the outstanding share capital. A lower nominal value leads to lower loans and interest payments. The foundation itself doesn’t dispose of any cash measures. The redemption will take place somewhere in March, Stefan Simons, a The Hague-based KPN spokesman, said today.

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