America Movil opens way for stake increase in KPN

America Movil ends cooperation with KPN, clearing way to raise stake in Dutch telecoms company

Associated Press

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) -- Mexican telecoms company America Movil has cleared the way to raise its ownership stake in the Netherlands' Royal KPN NV by scrapping a cooperation agreement.

America Movil owns just under 30 percent of KPN stock and the two companies entered the cooperation agreement Feb. 20. It was meant to cut costs by joining forces in fields such as mobile roaming and included a "standstill" clause under which America Movil agreed not to raise its stake.

KPN, the Netherlands' largest telecoms company, said Monday that America Movil, which is owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, is now free to raise its stake in KPN to 30 percent or more.

The announcement came less than a week after KPN said it is selling its German mobile unit E-Plus to Spain's Telefonica, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

That plan foresees KPN getting a total of 5 billion euros in cash and a 17.6 percent stake in Telefonica Deutschland, in a transaction that values E-Plus at 8.1 billion euros.

The sale was seen as strengthening KPN's finances and focusing the business on its core Dutch operations.

KPN shares were up 5 percent to €1.99 ($2.64) Monday late morning.

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