VIENNA Aug 27 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.