Mexican business-tycoon Carlos Slim Helú's mobile telecommunications company América Móvil SAB de CV (NYSE: AMX) made an unsolicited bid to raise its stake in Dutch mobile phone company Koninklijke KPN NV (Amsterdam: KPN) by $3.4 billion, KPN announced Tuesday.
The €2.6 billion ($3.4 billion) bid from América Móvil would increase its stake in KPN from 4.8 percent to 28 percent. América Móvil offered to pay €8 a share in cash to raise its stake in KPN, 23.5 percent higher than Monday's closing price. However, KPN said in a statement the offer substantially undervalues the company, and that it would seek further clarification as to América Móvil's intentions.
Helú has been working to expand América Móvil's footprint outside of the Americas where the company operates in 18 countries with more than 240 million cellphone subscribers, according to the New York Times.
América Móvil has made similar bids in Spain and Italy over the past decade and more recently in Poland and Serbia, according to Bloomberg. The Mexico City based company is seeking to capitalize on Europe's economic downturn by buying into weakened telecom companies like KPN. KPN stock fell 30 percent this year before rising almost 20 percent on Tuesday after the offer from América Móvil.
Whether América Móvil's offer will go through remains to be seen. KPN has said that it is still exploring all strategic options.
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KPN, based in The Hague, had 44.5 million customers last year in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. 36.6 million of KPN's customers subscribed to its wireless services, with the rest holding subscriptions for voice, broadband internet or TV services. KPN's 2011 revenue was €13.1 billion ($17.1 billion). Conversely, América Móvil had revenue of $47.5 billion.
Koninklijke KPN NV (Amsterdam: KPN) shares were up 19.41 percent to €7.74 ($10.07) per share. América Móvil S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: AMX) shares fell 7.96 percent to $26 a share on Tuesday.