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BRUSSELS Feb 5 Dutch telecoms group KPN
plans to cut its debt with a 4-billion-euro ($5.4
billion) cash call to shareholders, it said on Tuesday, after
posting a fourth-quarter net loss.
KPN, in which Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's America
Movil took a near 28 percent stake in 2012, said the
rights issue was subject to shareholder approval and it may
consider raising part of the amount via other means such as
equity linked instruments.
KPN said its net debt to core profit ratio stood at 3.0
times at the end of the fourth quarter, and the rights issue
would reduce this ratio by about 0.9 points.
The group has already made some disposals, most notably its
Dutch and German mobile phone towers, but plans to sell entire
units in Belgium and Germany were shelved in 2012.
It has also already cut its dividend for 2013 to 0.03 euros
per share from previous guidance of 0.35 euros after it had to
spend an above-forecast 1.35 billion euros on a mobile frequency
auction in the Netherlands in December.
In January, Telekom Austria also partly owned by
America Movil, issued 600 million euros of hybrid bonds to cut
KPN posted a net loss of 160 million euros in the fourth
quarter, while analysts polled by Reuters had expected a net
profit of 357 million euros.
($1 = 0.7376 euros)
(Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Mark Potter)