AM launches formal bid for KPN shares; Dutch telco adamant that offer is too low

30 May 2012

Mexican telecoms group America Movil (AM), controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, will today launch a formal bid for a 28% stake in Dutch telecoms group KPN Telecom (or Royal KPN), the company announced on Tuesday. As reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month AM unveiled plans for a possible USD3.45 billion deal for the shares as part of a plan to secure a foothold in the European market. The Mexico-based group already owns 68.3 million shares, 4.8% of KPN’s stock, but unveiled plans to table a cash offer worth EUR8 (USD9.9) per share to increase its equity holding to 28% – 23.5% higher than KPN’s closing price on 7 May. ‘The acceptance period during which shareholders can tender their shares will commence on 30 May 2012 at 0700 GMT and will expire on 27 June at 1530 GMT, unless the initial acceptance period is extended,’ a statement from the company read.

Reuters claims that KPN has already restated its opinion that Slim’s offer is too low and that it will ‘continue to explore all strategic options’. An official response to the offer is expected to be released shortly.

Meanwhile, other press reports suggest that the under-the-spotlight Dutch carrier is preparing to divest several of its operating units as it looks to increase its operational focus on its home market. With KPN already on record as reviewing its operations in Belgium (BASE), Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf cites unconfirmed sources as claiming that other assets could be offloaded. The paper stopped short of providing details but other than BASE, KPN’s only other significant European asset is E-Plus in Germany.

Netherlands, America Movil (AM), KPN