Telekom Austria plans 500 mln capital hike -report

VIENNA Tue Aug 27, 2013 2:29am EDT

VIENNA Aug 27 (Reuters) - Telekom Austria wants to raise 500 million euros ($669 million) of fresh capital to buy new frequencies in a September auction and acquire companies, Der Standard newspaper reported.

The former state monopoly is assured of the participation of Carlos Slim's America Movil, which owns 24 percent of Telekom Austria, and wants to know whether the government will also take part to preserve its 28 percent stake, the paper said.

According to the report published on Tuesday, the figure of 500 million euros was discussed at a supervisory board meeting two weeks ago.

Telekom Austria had no immediate commment on the report.

Standard quoted Rudolf Kemler, head of Austria's OIAG state holding company, as saying: "The capital need is not decided yet but I do not intend to allow the OIAG stake to be diluted."

Analysts estimate that Telekom Austria will need at least 300 million euros for the auction of spectrum that will allow operators to build faster, fourth-generation (4G) networks, which the regulator says will take place in early September.

Chief Executive Hannes Ametstreiter has said the company is also on the lookout for acquisitions in Croatia and Serbia that could make it the leading player in the Balkans.

It recently re-entered the race to buy Serbia's SBB cable, which media reports have said could fetch up to 1 billion euros.

Telekom Austria, which has issued 900 million euros in hybrid capital this year, has said repeatedly its financing needs are covered, not including any extra expenses.