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Latino Daily News

Monday August 26, 2013

Telecom Mogul Carlos Slim Backs Telefonica, KPN German Deal

Telecom Mogul Carlos Slim Backs Telefonica, KPN German Deal

Photo: Telecom Mogul Carlos Slim Backs Telefonica, KPN German Deal

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Mexico-based America Movil, the largest shareholder in Dutch telecommunications firm Royal KPN NV, supports Telefonica’s agreed bid for KPN’s German mobile unit, the Spanish giant said Monday.

America Movil, controlled by multibillionaire Carlos Slim, endorsed the transaction after Telefonica increased the value of its bid.

The original proposal called for KPN to receive 5 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in cash for E-Plus and a 17.6 percent stake in Telefonica Deutschland, which already owns the O2 mobile brand in Germany.

The new offer, valued at 8.55 billion euros ($11.4 billion), would leave KPN with 20.5 percent of Telefonica Deutschland.

Though America Movil is onboard, the deal must still clear regulatory hurdles in Germany, where O2 is now the fourth-largest cellphone operator and E-Plus ranks third.

The companies have a combined subscriber base of 42.7 million, meaning that the proposed merger would create Germany’s top cellphone operator in terms of customers.

When America Movil announced on Aug. 9 its plans to acquire the roughly 70 percent KPN it did not already own for 2.40 euros per share (or roughly $7.2 billion), the market interpreted the bid as a strategy for blocking the sale of E-Plus.

The Mexican company said Monday that it “remains committed” to buying the rest of KPN.