So much for the KPN buyout. América Móvil and Carlos Slim have decided to take their ball and go home rather than give in to the demands of the Dutch foundation standing in the way of its bid.
This recent chapter in Carlos Slim's European adventures started in August with a bid by América Móvil of €2.40 per share for the 70% of KPN they didn't already own. The company and its shareholders appeared receptive to the idea, but the foundation charged with preventing shareholders from doing anything drastic stepped in a few weeks later and exercised its options to shut things down.
Since then they've been talking. But when it came down to price, they hit a wall. Slim was unwilling to pay the $2.65/share that KPN and its board said "which would reflect appropriate value and minority shareholder protection for selling control of KPN."
And so it ends. Actually not, since whether América Móvil will bail entirely and sell its existing 30% stake is an open question. América Móvil's stock price has surged, while you can bet that KPN's will have a rough Thursday. Oops. I wonder where KPN goes from here.
It's hard to feel sorry for Slim of course, seeing as he's already one of the richest people in the world. But with Canada kicking Sawiris's Allstream deal to the curb and the Dutch stonewalling Slim in the space of a week, one has to wonder whether there is a trend here against letting billionaires, countries too close to the equator, or whatever own telecom assets in the developed world.
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