UPDATE 4-America Movil ends KPN pact, may eye buy-out
By Gilbert Kreijger and Elinor Comlay
AMSTERDAM/MEXICO CITY, July 29 (Reuters) - Dutch telecom group KPN's biggest shareholder, billionaire Carlos Slim's America Movil, has ended an agreement to keep its holding below 30 percent, a sign that it may bid for the whole company.
America Movil was entitled to end the agreement after its regional rival Telefonica bid 8.1 billion euros ($10.7 billion) for KPN's prized German unit E-Plus, casting doubt over the future of America Movil's European investment.
America Movil now may increase its shareholding to the level that would trigger an offer for the whole of KPN, but it is not clear that the Latin America-focused company is ready to take such a big step in Europe.
That America Movil ended the standstill and shareholder agreement was to be expected, said a person close to the situation, but it does not shed much light on what Slim plans to do about his reported opposition to the E-Plus deal.
"America Movil is trying to telegraph its opposition and signal that he wants to wring out a higher price from Telefonica for the Germany deal," the person said.
"It's possible that Slim could bid for the whole of KPN, but I think that's unlikely, and KPN and Telefonica should call his bluff. There will be a lot more of these types of moves from now to October, when the KPN/E-Plus (deal) is put to shareholder vote."
KPN shares closed up 4.59 percent at 1.98 euros, while America Movil shares fell as much as 2.7 percent to 13.43 pesos on concern the company might bid for all of KPN, which would take it over its target leverage limits. Continuación...