After years of threatening, Carlos Slim, the Mexican businessman, arrived in Europe this June in a big way — his firm, América Móvil, upped its stake in Netherlands-based Royal KPN from 8.7% to 28% at a cost of around $3 billion. A week before that it had agreed to pay around $1 billion for a 21% stake in Telekom Austria bringing its ownership to 23%.
The timing is perhaps hardly surprising, given sagging European prices, particularly for telecoms, which suffer along with the economic outlook. KPN’s German operations – in a market where indigenous players have little room to increase market share – are said to be of particular interest to América Móvil.
The motive behind the purchase of Telekom Austria is exposure in eastern European countries, where América Móvil can use its expertise in emerging markets telecommunications to improve results in...
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