Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is continuing his quest to increase América Móvil’s (AMX) share of the European market, intensifying its rivalry with Telefónica. In the latest chapter of AMX’s effort to achieve a 28% stake in the Netherlands-based telecom company KPN NV, AMX announced it has entered, again, into a number of ordinary share transactions, including 27 transactions outside regular market trading.
As a result, América Móvil will hold 299,517,225 ordinary shares in KPN, representing a capital interest of 20.92% in KPN. This follows AMX’s recent move that increased its stake to 8.46% in KPN. The carrier has been on a buying spree of late, having also recently increased its share in Telekom Austria.
Slim has bought a lot of carriers throughout Latin America to enhance the AMX empire. Now, he is focusing on getting a share of the European market, where AMX’s greatest rival is based. The move helps diversify AMX’s revenue base and risks, providing scale. In addition, with Europe facing an economic crisis, prices have become more attractive.
The strategic plan to go beyond the Latin American region also included the United States where AMX closed on a deal to acquire Simple Mobile, consolidating its dominate position in the U.S.-based prepaid space. The deal, which was announced earlier this year, adds approximately 1 million prepaid customers to América Móvil’s U.S. operations, which are centered on the Tracfone Wireless brand.
América Móvil has stressed that its plans will not detract from its Latin America operations. AMX said it will not invest less in the region in order to invest elsewhere and that the carrier’s priority remains the Latam market.
Credit Suisse views the latest move as slightly positive for AMX. “We believe statements that management is not in discussions with other players may relieve some investor concern that AMX is on an ‘empire building’ mission in Europe,” Credit Suisse noted in statement. ”In addition, the company’s emphasis on credit ratings and maintaining low funding costs also reduces the risk of another large transaction in the short-term. Although higher capex guidance this year may be a slight negative, we believe it mostly reflects 4G license purchases in Brazil rather than higher infra spend.”
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- Does America Movil’s offer for 28% stake in KPN, European expansion make sense?
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- KPN moves against América Móvil’s acquisition
- América Móvil takes 8.46% stake in KPN
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