Gloves off in AM’s bid to secure bigger KPN stake

20 Jun 2012

Dow Jones Newswires reports that America Movil (AM) has accused Dutch telco KPN of ‘deliberately’ breaching discussions between them, by demanding that the Mexico-based firm relinquish some of its voting rights in the European group. Citing an interview with the local daily newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad, it is claimed AM CFO Carlos Garcia Moreno said: ‘They knew that we would never accept that. One share, one vote is sacred for us,’ adding, ‘We have given in at many points. But giving up voting rights was unacceptable for us.’

Earlier this week the Mexican giant, which is owned by the billionaire Carlos Slim, boosted its stake in the Dutch telecoms group to 8.46%, ramping up pressure on KPN’s shareholders to accept Slim’s offer for an even bigger 27.7% stake in the telco. AM’s offer, which ends on 27 June, has been rejected as too low but KPN’s chief executive officer Eelco Blok is running out of time to persuade shareholders to ignore the EUR2.6 billion (USD3.3 billion) offer. Reuters reports KPN spokeswoman Maryse Ducheine as saying that Blok and his CFO Eric Hageman have been visiting investors to ask them not to tender their shares, on the grounds that the offer undervalues the carrier.

Netherlands, America Movil (AM), KPN