Telekom Austria Group has confirmed that as of 16 January, 15.018% of its shares are now held directly and indirectly by Ronny Pecik’s RPR Privatstiftung investment vehicle, which also holds indirect call options to acquire an additional 5.100% of the company’s shares. In total, this represents direct and indirect holdings of 20.118%.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, since September 2011 speculation has been rife that Telekom was being eyed as a so-called ‘hostile takeover’ target by an international investor group comprising Vienna-based tycoon Pecik and Egyptian telecoms entrepreneur Naguib Sawiris, an investor in Pecik’s Marathon vehicle. In October Pecik denied that he was Sawiris’s puppet, commenting: ‘I definitely rule out that I am a front man for anyone. I have never been a front man. I always bought companies at my own risk, and I have had a lot of sleepless nights because of that’. For his part, Sawiris pledged 4.23% of his shareholding in Russian telecoms group Vimpelcom as collateral against a USD600 million loan, further stoking speculation.