Dutch operator KPN Telecom (or Royal KPN as it is also known) is launching a full strategic review of its German mobile business E-Plus. The move follows its announcement rejecting an unsolicited EUR2.6 billion (USD3.2 billion) offer for an increased stake in the company from America Movil (AM), the Mexican group owned by Carlos Slim. The Hague-based company today issued a statement which read: ‘Today, with the full support of the supervisory board, KPN announces a review of strategic options for E-Plus to unlock value embedded in the German business.’
Earlier this week, AM launched a formal bid for a 28% stake in KPN 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 – 23.5% higher than KPN’s closing price on 7 May – to increase its equity holding to 28%. ‘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. KPN, however, wasted little time rejecting the deal, saying that in its opinion Slim’s offer is too low and that it will ‘continue to explore all strategic options’.