America Movil, owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has launched a takeover bid for Dutch telecom company KPN. The bid comes in light of Slim’s opposition to KPN’s planned sale of German mobile operator E-Plus.
America Movil offered shareholders in Dutch operator Royal KPN 2.40 euros ($3.21) per share, the Mexican telecoms operator announced Friday.
The bid is 20 percent higher than KPN's current share price of about 2 euros, and would cost America Movil owner Carlos Slim around 7.2 billion euros.
The Mexican billionaire , who's ranked the world's riches man, already owns 29.7 percent in the Dutch mobile phone company.
KPN's board of directors had taken note of the bid and will give the offer careful consideration while looking at all the options available, the firm's spokesman Ward Snijders said Friday.
E-Plus sale on the line
The takeover bid must be seen against the background of KPN's envisaged sale of Germany's fifth-largest mobile company E-Plus to Spain's Telefonica.
Telefonica, which is a major competitor with America Movil in Latin America, seeks to merge E-Plus with its German subsidiary O2 to create a new mobile phone giant in the German market.
Carlos Slim has criticized Telefonica's offered price of 5 billion euros for E-Plus as too low. On Friday, America Movil said in a statement that its stance toward the deal hadn't changed and that it would continue to weigh the benefits of the proposed deal.
At the end of July, Carlos Slim ended an agreement not to increase his stake in KPN to more than 30 percent – an indication that he is unwilling to let the deal go through, at least not for the price offered by Telefonica.
uhe/hc (AFP, AP, dpa)