America Movil’s bid to take full control of KPN has generated “considerable uncertainty” about the Mexican group’s intention says the KPN Foundation, the independent legal entity whose role is to safeguard the interests of the Dutch operator, its staff, shareholders and customers.
The foundation has a call option over a certain number of KPN shares. The option means it can acquire a number of Class B preference shares from the company that does not exceed the total issued amount of ordinary shares, minus one share and minus any shares already issued to the foundation.
What this means, according to Bloomberg, is that America Movil would need to gain the support of every other shareholder to gain majority control of KPN, should the foundation exercise its option.
A spokesman for the foundation says it is not considering such a move at present.
According to its statement, it is “concerned about developments regarding KPN over the past few days”.
The foundation’s concern is motivated not just by America Movil’s bid for KPN’s outstanding shares but also the implication for the sale of German operator E-Plus to Telefonica. Carlos Slim’s group has yet to make its position clear regarding the German sale
“The foundation notes that there is considerable uncertainty about América Móvil’s
intentions in the light of its only briefly clarified announcement of its intention to make
a public offer for the shares in the company it does not already own, and regarding its position on the strategic development of KPN, including KPN’s intention to sell its
German subsidiary E-Pus”, said the foundation’s statement.
The foundation was established in 1994 as part of KPN’s privatisation. Part of its brief is “protecting KPN from influences that may threaten the continuity, independence and identity”.