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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