Austria’s government is content for Latin American giant America Movil to take a majority stake in incumbent Telekom Austria, according to the head of state holding company OIAG.
“The question of whether Carlos Slim overtakes us, and whether it is by two or three per cent or whether he goes above 50 per cent is actually a secondary question,” said Rudolf Kemler (pictured) in an interview with radio station ORF.
Currently OIAG holds over 28 per cent in Telekom Austria while America Movil holds just below 27 per cent.
The key point for the government is not to let its stake fall below a blocking stake of 25 per cent which gives it input into key decisions at the operator.
The government has also adopted the same policy for other state-backed companies outside telecommunications.
Kemler is also chairman of Telekom Austria.
The Mexican operator has kept the government and management of Telekom Austria on its side, putting it in a position to pursue majority control of the operator. It first took a stake in 2012.
America Movil is recovering from a less successful experience in the Netherlands where it was blocked from building its stake in KPN after its bid was seen as hostile.