Telekom Austria is reported to be working “behind the scenes” to assess the possibility of splitting its core domestic operations from its other Eastern European assets, with shareholder America Movil able to play an increased role in the latter business, WirtschaftsBlatt reports.
According to the report, should America Movil want to expand its presence in Eastern Europe, it would be able to do so using the Telekom Austria assets as a basis, without the need for the Austrian state to match the investment in overseas operations.
While this would reduce the Austrian influence over the overseas operations of Telekom Austria, it was mooted that the country’s authorities could become more involved in the domestic operation, where the Latin American group is apparently less involved.
However, WirtschaftsBlatt said that this has caused concern, in that the core Telekom Austria business is facing intense pressure in its home market, while at the same time investing in infrastructure – in contrast, the international operations provide it with potential for growth and diversify in its operations.
In the first nine months of 2012, Telekom Austria reported revenue of EUR2.07 billion from Austria, down 5.7 percent year-on-year, compared with revenue of EUR1.21 billion, down 1.2 percent, from Bulgaria, Croatia, Belarus and “additional markets” (including Slovenia, Serbia and Macedonia).
America Movil has this year been increasing its ownership of Telekom Austria, in September 2012 taking its holding to 22.76 percent.
The Austria-based company is 28.42 percent owned by the Austrian state, with the remaining 48.81 percent of its shares in free float.
The Latin American giant has also acquired an almost 28 percent stake in Dutch-based group KPN, which has additional mobile operations in Belgium and Germany.