Carlos Slim backs KPN plan but steers clear of a takeover offer

City A.M. Reporter
CARLOS Slim, the world’s richest man, has backed KPN’s plan to raise €4bn (£3.49bn) and will take two board seats as he battles to turn around a losing investment in the Dutch telecommunications group.

However, the Mexican telecoms tycoon, whose America Movil owns just under 30 per cent of KPN, said he has no plans to launch a full takeover as it struggles with cut-throat competition and high investment costs.

KPN shares slid over nine per cent to an 11-year low yesterday.

The announcement was also a blow to America Movil shares, since Latin America’s biggest phone company will have to invest a further €900m in KPN to maintain its 29.77 per cent stake.

America Movil has already pumped about €3bn into KPN as part of a drive to expand in Europe. The Mexican group also has a stake in Telekom Austria, which is underwater as well.

KPN shares have slumped as it battles with a heavy debt load and stiff competition and after paying much more than expected for a 4G mobile licence.