Mexico's America Movil may launch KPN offer in October
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican phone company America Movil, embroiled in an increasingly complex bid for Dutch telecom KPN, said on Friday that it might go ahead with its formal offer next month.
America Movil (AMXL.MX), controlled by billionaire Carlos Slim, is still in talks with KPN (KPN.AS) and other interested parties and it also reserves the right to not proceed with the offer, the company said in a statement to Mexico's stock exchange.
An independent foundation tasked with protecting the interests of KPN shareholders complicated Slim's bid for the company when it moved to block America Movil's offer of 2.40 euros per share at the end of August.
Slim's company owned nearly 30 percent of KPN until the foundation exercised an option to give itself about 50 percent of voting stock at the end of last month, chopping America Movil's stake in half.
Before the foundation acted to block the offer, America Movil had said it planned to proceed with its bid in September.
After the foundation announced its move, America Movil said it believes that as a long-term investor in KPN, it could help the Dutch telecom with important infrastructure investments.
Earlier this month, America Movil said it was having a "constructive dialogue" with KPN.
Slim, who has built up a business empire stretching from infrastructure and construction to oil platforms, banking and telecoms, has never made a hostile offer, according to Thomson Reuters data.
America Movil shares have been under pressure this year as investors question the value of Slim's expensive European foray, which marks a big step from the company's familiar Latin American turf.
A spokeswoman for America Movil declined to comment beyond the news release on Friday.
America Movil shares were flat at 13.26 pesos after the announcement but the shares are down 11 percent since the start of the year in spite of an aggressive buyback by the company.
Slim's flagship has spent a record 57.75 billion pesos ($4.40 billion) buying back shares in the year to date, according to stock exchange filings and Reuters' calculations.
KPN shares were up 0.34 percent at 2.365 euros. ($1 = 13.1380 Mexican pesos)
(Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz and Krista Hughes)
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