America Movil Increases Telekom Austria Stake by $1 Billion

America Movil SAB will pay 743 million euros ($1 billion) to boost its stake in Telekom Austria AG to 50.8 percent days after billionaire Carlos Slim agreed to carve up his telecommunications empire in Mexico.

Holders representing almost 104 million shares accepted an offer of 7.15 euros a share, America Movil said yesterday in a filing. The Mexico City-based company will extend its offer for three more months. Shareholders who have already accepted will get their payment by July 24.

Slim has sought to reduce America Movil’s reliance on its home market, where tough new regulations led to last week’s announcement of a breakup. The company failed to complete a takeover of Dutch phone company Royal KPN NV last year after its bid was deemed too low.

The end of the offer period and the increase of Slim’s stake is an “important milestone in the partnership between OeIAG and America Movil,” Bernhard Nagiller, a spokesman for OeIAG, the Austrian state holding, said by telephone.

America Movil’s offer to Telekom Austria holders was triggered by an agreement between the company and Austria’s state holding company to pool their stakes in the country’s former monopoly. The price represented a 7.5 percent premium over the stock’s closing price on April 23, the day it was announced.

With Austria’s stake at 28.4 percent, the syndicate will now hold 79.2 percent of Telekom Austria. America Movil may sell shares in the next two years to meet a target for a free float of 24 percent, Chief Financial Officer Carlos Garcia-Moreno told Austria’s News magazine in May.

Price Benchmark

Telekom Austria’s shares were little changed at 7.16 euros at 10:05 a.m. local time in Vienna. America Movil rose less than 1 percent to 15.06 pesos yesterday in Mexico City before the offer results were announced.

Since Telekom Austria’s minority owners can, under Austrian law, still sell their shares at 7.15 euros for the next three months, the price will remain “an important share price benchmark,” Bernd Maurer, a Vienna-based analyst at Raiffeisen Centrobank, wrote in a note last week.

Under the syndicate agreement, America Movil and Austria committed to increase Telekom Austria’s capital by 1 billion euros. Austria’s state holding has pledged to keep at least 25 percent plus one share in Telekom Austria, giving it veto power over important decisions.

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