America Movil has shifted the timing of its planned takeover of Dutch incumbent KPN to October from September, as negotiations over the acquisition drag on, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires.
The Latin American telecoms giant – owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim – announced plans for a €7.2 billion takeover of KPN (The Hague, Netherlands) in August, but it has subsequently run into opposition from an independent foundation set up to protect the interests of the Dutch incumbent.
America Movil (Mexico City, Mexico) already owns about 30% of KPN but wants to take full ownership of the business as a means of diversifying its activities and geographical scope.
Besides holding a stake in KPN, it owns about 24% of Telekom Austria (Vienna, Austria) and sees an opportunity to exploit synergies between the two businesses – although acquisition efforts appear focused on KPN for the time being.
The Dutch foundation, however, has exercised an option that gives it just less than 50% of KPN’s voting rights and effectively blocked the deal.
The foundation regards America Movil’s takeover bid as a hostile one, prompting the Latin American operator to threaten the withdrawal of its offer.
However, America Movil has also argued that it would not have supported KPN’s capital increase earlier this year, or the proposed sale of the German E-Plus subsidiary to Telefonica (Madrid, Spain), if its offer were hostile.
According to Dow Jones, America Movil has this week published a statement about the delay to its takeover plans caused by the wrangling between various parties involved in the process.
“America Movil is engaged in dialogues with KPN and stakeholders of KPN in relation to the offer, and intends to allow for sufficient time for such discussions to be pursued,” it is reported to have said.
Even if the sale of E-Plus goes ahead, America Movil’s efforts to play a bigger role in Europe are likely to intensify its rivalry with Telefonica, which has emerged as Slim’s chief competitive threat across much of Latin America.
Regulators have yet to approve the E-Plus deal, which would reduce the number of mobile operators in Germany from four to three after Telefonica absorbs the business into its existing operation.