Mexican mogul Slim expands empire in Europe

Jun 15, 2012
Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim speaks during the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative meeting in 2011 in New York. Slim moved to grow his telecoms empire into central and eastern Europe by raising his stake in Telekom Austria to 9.9 percent with the aim of obtaining 25.9 percent.

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim on Friday moved to spread his telecoms empire into central and eastern Europe by raising his stake in Telekom Austria to 9.9 percent with the aim of obtaining 25.9 percent.

"This acquisition positions AMX as a long-term strategic partner of Telekom Austria," Slim's America Movil (AMX) said in a statement.

The deal is "part of AMX geographic diversification strategy and provides an attractive presence in Central and Eastern Europe."

Former monopoly Telekom Austria, the largest telecoms company in the country, is also active in Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia, with 20 million mobile customers and 2.6 million fixed lines.

Slim is also a shareholder in the Dutch telecoms group KPN and wants to increase that interest to 27.7 percent.

The Austrian state is still the main shareholder in Telekom Austria with a stake of 28.42 percent, more than the minority blocking threshold of 25.0 percent plus one share.

Austria owns its shares via the state holding company OEIAG, which welcomed the increased investment by Slim, saying his company was an excellent strategic and financial investor.

AMX on Friday bought five percent in Telekom Austria from businessman Ronny Pecik, taking its stake to 6.75 percent, and said it intends to acquire a further 16 percent. were not disclosed.

Telekom Austria revealed late Friday meanwhile that another firm controlled by Slim's family also controls a stake of 3.1 percent.

Added to the 6.75 percent Slim now controls and the 16 percent he intends to acquire, this will give Slim a blocking minority of 25.9 percent in the Austrian company.

Telekom Austria is capitalised at about 3.6 billion euros ($4.55 billion).

Pecik, who said on Friday that he would withdraw entirely as a shareholder in Telekom Austria once the deal was completed, is to remain as vice president of the telecom operator's supervisory board, AMX said.

America Movil dominates the market for mobile telephone services in Latin America, saying that it had 225 million customers in 18 countries at the end of 2010.

Slim, 72, has a fortune estimated by Forbes magazine at $69 billion (54.5 billion euros).

Originally from a family of Lebanese traders, he heads the Forbes list of the richest men in the world, far ahead of the founder of Microsoft computer software, Bill Gates, who is second with a fortune put at about $61 billion.

Slim made his fortune through the privatisation of the Mexican company Telmex (Telefonos de Mexico) which he owns and used as a base for developing America Movil.

Shares in Telekom Austria gained 1.42 percent on Friday to close at 8.15 euros, handing back earlier gains. The benchmark ATX index closed 2.02 percent higher.

Explore further: US newspaper industry revenue fell 2.6 pct in 2013

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Carlos Slim ups stake in NY Times to 8.1 percent

Oct 07, 2011

Carlos Slim, the Mexican magnate believed to be the world's richest individual, has increased his stake in the The New York Times Co. to 8.1 percent, regulatory filings showed Thursday.

Deutsche Telekom shares soar on AT&T deal

Mar 21, 2011

Shares in Deutsche Telekom soared more than 10 percent on Monday as investors welcomed the planned sale of the German firm's T-Mobile USA unit to AT&T in a $39-billion deal. ...

Mexico billionaires battle over telecoms sector

Feb 05, 2012

Battles between three Mexican billionaires over control of the lucrative telecoms sector heated up again this week, intensified by international criticism of monopolistic practices.

Recommended for you

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

17 hours ago

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

Weibo IPO below expectations, raises $285.6 mn

Apr 17, 2014

Sina Weibo sold fewer shares than expected in its US IPO which was priced below expectations ahead of a Thursday listing that takes place after tech selloffs on Wall Street.

User comments : 0

More news stories

LinkedIn membership hits 300 million

The career-focused social network LinkedIn announced Friday it has 300 million members, with more than half the total outside the United States.

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...