Slim left sweating over FMA ‘fitness’ test; regulator puts tycoon through his paces

24 Sep 2012

Austria’s Finanzmarktaufsichtsbehorde (Financial Market Authority, FMA) is currently reviewing whether to approve the status of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim as a major shareholder in the Telekom Austria Group, Reuters reports. Because Telekom owns a banking subsidiary, the FMA needs to review whether anyone who builds a stake of more than 10% is ‘fit’ to be a major shareholder. In June 2012 Slim’s Latino American telecoms firm America Movil (AM) announced that it had agreed terms to buy a 16% stake in the Austrian company, from Viennese businessman Ronny Pecik and his Egyptian partner, Naguib Sawiris. The stake was added to a number of minor stakes owned through various holding companies, to give the businessman a roughly 26% interest in the company. The FMA has until the end of November to make a decision, but the review is likely to conclude earlier and find no objections, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The FMA review is thought to be separate from a simultaneous Austrian government decision on whether to approve the deal. Investors from outside the European Union need special approval to buy stakes above 25% in strategic Austrian companies.

Austria, A1 Telekom Austria Group, America Movil (AM)