Austria-Slim talks on Telekom Austria hit rough patch-paper

VIENNA, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:49am EDT

VIENNA, March 20 (Reuters) - Talks between Austria and Carlos Slim's America Movil on pooling their stakes in Telekom Austria have hit snags over Austrian insistence on maintaining broad veto rights over some decisions, Kurier newspaper reported on Thursday.

The talks have not moved to formal negotiations, state holding company OIAG said last week. It is the biggest shareholder with 28 percent versus nearly 27 percent for Slim.

Creating such a syndicate would mean that Slim and Austria would have to vote in unison on major issues, protecting Austria's influence even with a smaller stake, while allowing Slim to gain control without risking political hostility.

Kurier said the talks had turned tougher.

"The situation has escalated dramatically. The syndicate accord is on knife's edge," it quoted unnamed observers as saying.

It said OIAG was insisting on broad veto rights similar to what the state got two decades ago when it entered a similar deal with Abu Dhabi fund IPIC to control energy group OMV . It said the Mexicans had rejected a draft on this.

OIAG officials were not immediately available for comment. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by David Holmes)

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