Latin American operator group America Movil has increased its stake in Telekom Austria to 22.76 percent after receiving the go-ahead to acquire additional shares – while the Austrian number-one has reduced its 2012 and 2013 dividends.
America Movil, which is owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, announced in June that it held 6.75 percent in Telekom Austria and had entered a stock purchase agreement for the additional stake through its America Movil Europa subsidiary.
It was reported last week that Austria’s Financial Market Authority was reviewing whether to approve America Movil becoming a major shareholder in Telekom Austria. America Movil recently boosted its stake in Dutch operator KPN as it looks to gain a foothold in the European mobile market.
Telekom Austria also announced that it plans to cut its dividends for 2012 and 2013. The 2012 dividend will drop from EUR0.38 to EUR0.05 and will remain at the same level for 2013.
The move is in response to the adverse macroeconomic conditions in Central and Eastern Europe, regulatory pressure, and the company’s expectation that competition in the Austrian market will intensify in 2013. In addition, the postponement of the Austrian spectrum auction until 2013 “will amplify cash requirements in the coming year”.
“In this competitive environment maintaining financial flexibility is of overriding importance to the management of Telekom Austria Group,” the company said in a statement.