UPDATE 1-Austria, Slim close to pact on Telekom Austria-Kemler

Wed Mar 26, 2014 7:32am EDT

* State holding company board could give green light on Friday

* America Movil aims for stake above 30 percent - Kemler

* Austria committed to keeping blocking minority (Adds Kemler comments, background)

VIENNA, March 26 (Reuters) - Austria is close to a deal to pool its Telekom Austria stake with that of Carlos Slim's America Movil, Rudolf Kemler, the head of state holding company OIAG and Telekom Austria chairman, told reporters on Wednesday.

A shareholders pact would mean the partners would have to vote in unison on major issues and would protect Austria's influence even with a smaller stake, while allowing Slim to raise his stake above the OIAG's 28 percent to gain control.

"There is not a final agreement but we are well on the way and we should get there in the foreseeable future," he said, adding details of a term sheet for the deal were being finalised. The accord was set to last around 10 years.

Kemler said he expected to ask the OIAG board on Friday to authorise finalising a contract with America Movil that could then be wrapped up in two to three weeks.

"I am convinced that we will get to the end very quickly. I believe the talks so far give cause for optimism," he said.

America Movil's goal is to boost its stake to above 30 percent from nearly 27 percent now so that it can consolidate the group, he said.

Telekom Austria shares rose 2.2 percent to 7.128 euros by 1104 GMT.

Kemler said the Austrian government was committed to keeping a blocking minority stake of at least 25 percent plus one share should it come to a capital increase, which he said Telekom Austria needed to finance growth in existing eastern Europe markets.

He suggested shareholders could authorise such a step at their annual meeting on May 28.

He said no details of any capital increase had been discussed with America Movil, nor had the partners decided how to handle a mandatory takeover offer that a syndicate deal would trigger by raising their combined stakes past the 30 percent threshold. (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Erica Billingham and Elaine Hardcastle)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.