October 15, 2012 / 11:01 AM / in 5 years

UPDATE 1-America Movil seeks extra Telekom Austria board seat

* Proposes company executive von Hauske for board seat

* Would boost size of board to 15 from 14

* Telekom Austria shares up 0.3 pct, in line with sector

VIENNA, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil moved to tighten its grip on Telekom Austria by seeking an additional supervisory board seat to be filled by one of its top executives.

The proposal to put Oscar Von Hauske Solis on the board comes before an extraordinary shareholder meeting on Oct. 23 to elect a new chairman - Rudolf Kemler, the new head of Austrian state holding company OeIAG, which has a 28.4 percent stake.

The move would boost the number of Telekom Austria board members elected by shareholders to 10. Employees get to name five other board members.

Slim’s America Movil Europa BV investment vehicle last month closed the deal to buy investor Ronny Pecik’s 16 percent stake in Telekom Austria. That gave America Movil 22.8 percent of the company via direct and indirect holdings.

Slim’s family controls a separate 3.1 percent stake.

Pecik remains a board member at Telekom Austria. Von Hauske is head of America Movil’s fixed-line operations.

America Movil has also bought 28 percent of Dutch group KPN this year to establish a beachhead in Europe amid depressed valuations.

Both operators are struggling in their domestic markets. They have cut dividends and seen their shares drop since Slim - known as a shrewd, long-term investor with an eye for a company in trouble - agreed to pay about $4 billion for the two stakes.

Austria is one of Europe’s toughest telecoms markets, with four operators - Telekom Austria, T-Mobile, Orange and Hutchison 3G - fighting over a population of little more than 8 million.

Hutchison, the smallest, has agreed to buy number three, Orange Austria, for 1.3 billion euros ($1.69 billion), but the deal may be faltering as the European Commission’s competition authority conducts an in-depth investigation.

Telekom Austria shares were up 0.3 percent at 5.57 euros by 1022 GMT, in line with the Stoxx 600 telecoms index.

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