Telekom Austria’s state-owned shareholder OIAG confirmed it is in discussions with America Movil regarding a future “syndicate agreement”.
It was reported in February that America Movil was looking to take control of Telekom Austria by reaching an accord with OIAG.
The supervisory board of OIAG, which owns a 28 per cent stake in Telekom Austria, was presented with the key points of a possible partnership with the Latin American operator group, which holds 27 per cent.
Priorities for OIAG include the long-term security of Telecom Austria’s headquarters in its home market and effective protection against the dilution of its shareholding to less than 25 per cent plus one share. This size of stake enables the government to have an input into key decisions.
The supervisory board gave the company’s board a mandate to negotiate a final agreement with America Movil. Further discussions are planned over the next few weeks.
According to the report in February, a draft accord outlined a deal in which America Movil would agree to contribute €750 million via a share issue to drive expansion and cut debt. It would also see the stakes of the two big shareholders pooled for 10 years with an option to extend by a further five years.
The pact would mean the partner companies would have to vote as one on major company issues, allowing OIAG to have a say even if America Movil raises its stake in the operator.
Rudolf Kemler, the head of OIAG and Telekom Austria chairman, previously said the Austrian government would be content for America Movil to take a majority stake in Telekom Austria.
America Movil has been looking to expand its foothold in the European market for some time by increasing its stakes in Telekom Austria and Dutch group KPN.
A €7.2 billion takeover bid for KPN was effectively blocked in October by the KPN Foundation, the independent body set up to safeguard the wider interests of the Dutch company.
The Carlos Slim-controlled group has stated that it does not plan a hostile takeover bid for Telekom Austria.