Carlos Slim’s Mexico-based telecoms holding group America Movil (AM) may launch an offer for Dutch incumbent KPN Telecom (also known as Royal KPN) in October, despite becoming increasingly bogged down in the complex takeover bid. Reuters reports that AM is still engaged in talks with the telco and other interested parties, but has reserved the right to walk away if the deal becomes too complicated.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this month Slim’s plan to take control of KPN received a further setback, with the news that the Dutch government had issued a warning about the proposed buyout. The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, warned that the acquisition of the Dutch incumbent by a ‘foreign company’ had consequences for national security, further muddying the water. AM’s planned EUR7.2 billion (USD9.52 billion) takeover bid has already faced a challenge from an independent foundation committed to the protection of KPN shareholders’ interests, which last month stepped in to block him. The Mexican group owned nearly 30% of KPN until the foundation exercised an option to give itself about 50% of voting stock in August this year, effectively halving AM’s holding. Then, in a letter to the Dutch parliament, the minister said the government will seek to secure ‘additional binding agreements’ to ensure that the public’s interests – relating to KPN’s infrastructure – are protected in any deal. ‘Due to before mentioned interests the cabinet is actively involved and making an effort for extra protection of the public interest through additional binding agreements,’ the minister said.